Georgia and Switzerland sign agreement on the protection of geographical indications and indications of source

Press release, 31.05.2018

Georgia and Switzerland have signed today a bilateral agreement on the protection of geographical indications and the indication of source Switzerland. The agreement protects well-known Swiss indications and thus contributes to the preservation of the reputation of Swiss quality products over the long term.

The parties shake hands after the signature
Signing of the agreement on geographical indications and indications of source by the chairman of Georgian "Sakpatenti" and Director General of IPI ©Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property

The agreement protects important geographical indications and indications of source from both countries. For Switzerland, it covers indications such as Emmentaler, Gruyère, Swiss chocolate and Swiss watches. The designation Switzerland, the Swiss cross and the names of the cantons are also protected. For Georgia, the agreement includes designations for specialties such as Kakheti (wine), Sulguni (cheese) and Borjomi (mineral water). The agreement will be presented to Parliament for approval.

Better international protection for Swiss quality products

“Geographical indications and indications of source are an important marketing tool for Swiss quality products, also in the export sector,” said Catherine Chammartin, Director General of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) during the signing ceremony. “The agreement between Georgia and Switzerland protects such indications better than the internationally applicable rules, and hence contributes to preserving the reputation of Swiss quality products over the long term. The agreement thus pursues the same objectives as the “Swissness” legislative revision which entered into force at the beginning of 2017. The revision reinforces protection of the designation Switzerland and the Swiss cross domestically, and facilitates enforcement abroad.”

Switzerland endeavours to strengthen protection for geographical indications and indications of source in international fora, in particular in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). In parallel, it negotiates bilateral treaties for the protection of such indications with likeminded countries. The conclusion of the agreement between Switzerland and Georgia pursues this strategy and follows the agreements concluded in 2013 with Jamaica and in 2010 with Russia.  

The agreement corresponds to a request by Parliament to regulate the use of geographical indications in international treaties (Motion 12.3642 of 19 June 2012, Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of States). It follows the free trade agreement, which entered into force between Georgia and Switzerland on 1 May 2018. Further information is available at the website.

Source: www.ige.ch