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What are exceptions to GI protection under TRIPS Agreement?

What are exceptions to GI protection under TRIPS Agreement?

The TRIPS Agreement enumerates a series of exceptions to the protection of geographical indications such as prior use in good faith and continued use of geographical indications that have become generic terms. Article 24 of the TRIPS Agreement lists five exceptions:

• If a name has been used for at least 10 years preceding to the conclusion of the Uruguay Round or in “good faith” for a shorter period of time preceding that date, the user can continue to do so;

• A trademark will remain valid if it was registered in good faith before the TRIPS Agreement came into force, or if it has been registered before the geographical indication was protected in its country of origin;

• When a geographical indication has become a common term for the type of goods in the language of a particular Member State (i.e. generic), protection must no longer be accorded in that State;

• The protection of geographical indications does not prevent a person whose name corresponds to a geographical indication to use that name in their commercial operations as long as that name is not being used in any misleading way.

• There is no obligation to protect geographical indications which are not, or have ceased to be, protected in their country of origin or which have fallen into disuse in that country.


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