Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin

It is an issue to keep in mind to add value to Central American export products and to avoid trade disputes.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Months ago the Guatemalan Congress ratified a number of amendments to the Copyright Act in order to protect Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin as provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and requested within the Association Agreement with EU.

This was an important requirement in order for the agreement between the European Union and Central America to enter into force. Through the use of geographical indications "... you can generate identity for our products through differentiation, increase marketability and access new markets, among other benefits," explained an article in

These amendments also require recognizing Indications and Designations of Origin from other countries. "In the case of the EU it is necessary for local businesses to be aware of and analyse the list to see whether the recognition of these rights does not clash with their own beforehand ." If so, companies have to submit their objection through the administrative route and take the matter on through the higher levels.

More on this topic

Guatemala Manages Entry into Force of EU Agreement

October 2013

The country will ask the European Union to discuss the geographical designations in parallel so that the agreement can enter into force in December.

This was explained by Estuardo Castillo, president of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), who added that "this is what Costa Rica did and there was a good result."

Guatemala: New Delay for EU Agreement

October 2013

The delay is due the eight still unresolved oppositions filed by Italy, France and Spain in September related to Geographical Indications.

Sergio de la Torre, Guatemalan Economy Minister had announced that the agreement would take effect in November, however, everything seems to have be delayed by another month.

Guatemala Could Enter AA with EU in November

September 2013

The country has fulfilled the last requirement which was pending, the registration of geographical indications, meaning that the Association Agreement could come into force in November.

The Ministry of Economy will notify on September 30 that it has complied with the ratification of the Association Agreement with the European Union and with the 60-day period required for amendments to the Law on Industrial Property related to geographical indications.

The Problem of Designations of Origin

August 2013

Conflicts over designations of origin or geographical indications are becoming more common.

An article in reports that "Costa Rica should identify appropriate channels for conflict resolution if it wants to increase its share in the market with products which are protected by designation of origin (DO) or geographical indication (GI)."

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