Brussels, 29/09/2022 (Agence Europe) – MEPs are concerned about giving EUIPO greater powers over geographical indications

30 Sep 2022

On Thursday 29 September, members of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee criticised aspects of the proposal, which they said gave too much power to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) regarding the management of agricultural geographical indications (GIs). As expected, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the sensitive issue of geographical indications, Paolo De Castro (S&D, Italian), presented the working document analysing the proposal on geographical indications (see EUROPE B13025A6).

Paolo De Castro said he hoped that the legislative process in the European Parliament on this dossier would be completed “in spring 2023”, with a view to starting negotiations with the EU Council at that time. The presentation of his draft report could take place on 8 November and final adoption in the European Parliament Agriculture Committee is expected around March or April 2023.
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has been involved in the work on this text.
Mr De Castro highlighted that his aim was to improve the proposal. He listed the different areas of his work.
“Technical ” support role for the EUIPO. MEPs are all in agreement on this issue. The role of the EUIPO should be limited, not extended, so as not to lose the link with the Commission’s expertise and with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The EUIPO should facilitate technical work, not replace the Directorate-General for Agriculture (DG AGRI), according to Clara Aguilera (S&D, Spanish).
For Anne Sander (EPP, French), “the role of the EUIPO needs to be clarified and limited, and EUIPO should be given a role in which it provides technical support and protection against counterfeiting”.
MEPs do not want this agency to play a key role in the management of GI terms of reference. Eric Andrieu (S&D, French) mentioned that GIs are not trademarks.
Benoît Biteau (Greens/EFA, French) said that “the reform should not be limited to formalising the technical assistance of the EUIPO”. This intervention would be questionable, he said.
The European Commission representative tried to reassure the European Parliament: “We do not want to give any decision-making power to others than those who have to make decisions. We are the body that will decide. We just want a framework to specify in legislation what happens in practice. The EUIPO must support us in our work.”
The Commission representative said that this agency should indeed play a more important role in the protection of GIs. It would also be necessary, in his view, “to work on the basis of the Commission’s proposal, with delegated acts which could specify the role of the EUIPO. We need to refine the proposal, which is perhaps too broad when it comes to the role to be given to the EUIPO”, he conceded.
Wine. The wine policy in the common market organisation should not be separated from the policy in the text on geographical indications, said Ms Sander. She was supported in this by Álvaro Amaro (EPP, Portuguese) and Ms Aguilera.
Regarding the definition of evocation, several MEPs, including the rapporteur, but also notably Anne Sander and Ulrike Müller (Renew Europe, German), insisted on the need to continue to reserve this role to the EU Court of Justice, instead of drafting a definition in the regulation. According to MEPs, such a definition in the text would risk weakening elements of protection obtained through case law. 

See the document:http://