Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration of 1958 is the act that governs the international registration of appellations of origin. It is important to note that it regulates international registration of appellations of origin only. Bulgaria joined the Lisbon Agreement, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1975. Twenty-eight countries are members of the Agreement and in this case, with only one application protection in all 28 member states can be obtained. So far a total of 1060 designations of origin under the Lisbon Agreement have been registered, as for Bulgaria the number is 51 and some of the most famous registered designations of origin are Vratsa limestone, Troyan pottery, Bulgarian yogurt, Bulgarian peeled tomatoes, Bulgarian pepper powder. The international registration of an appellation of origin designating the Republic of Bulgaria shall have the same effect as if directly applied for and granted in the Republic of Bulgaria.
This article will describe the procedure for registration of appellations of origin under the Lisbon Agreement.
First of all, a mandatory condition for the appellation of origin is to be registered with the national office of the country of origin and the application for international registration to be filed through the office of the respective country.
The application for international registration of an appellation of origin shall contain:
- country of origin;
- national authority;
- the name of the appellation of origin and transliteration;
- the user/users of the appellation of origin and address;
- the designation of the goods;
- the geographical area of production of the goods;
- the legal provision or judgment or national registration that recognizes the protection of the appellation of origin in the country of origin;
- date and signature of the competent authority;
- document for paid fees for registration.
The application for international registration of an appellation of origin shall be filed in one of the following languages: English, French or Spanish. Once the application for registration has been received at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, it shall be entered in the International Register of аppelations of оrigin. The International Bureau shall, without delay, notify the authorities of the various countries of the Special Union of such registrations, and shall publish them in a periodical.
Within one year of receipt of the notification of registration, the authorities of the member countries may declare that they are not in a position to provide protection for the appellation of origin if the Office of the member country refusing protection establishes an obstacle to grant protection under its national law.
The International Bureau shall notify the Office of the country of origin of any notification of refusal of registration made by the Office of another country. The person concerned, having been informed by the Office of the country of origin, will be able to use in that other country all judicial and administrative remedies available to nationals of that country.
If an appellation of origin, which has been granted protection in a given country pursuant to notification of its international registration, has already been used by third parties in that country from a date prior to such notification, the competent authority of the said country shall have the right to grant to such third parties a period not exceeding two years to terminate such use.
Finally, it is important to note that the international registration is maintained until the appellation of origin is protected in the country of origin.
Due to the above-mentioned peculiarities of the international registration of appellations of origin procedure, the assistance of a specialist with experience in this area is recommended to be sought, who will prepare all the required documentation. The IP attorney Krasimira Kadieva will gladly assist you with the international registration of appellations of origin by providing professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents.
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Legal Disclaimer: This material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva aims to describe the procedure international registration of appellations of origin. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as an individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of an intellectual property specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. For more information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva is a Bulgarian and European trademark and design attorney. She offers comprehensive analysis and strategy for the effective protection of trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications as objects of industrial property, both at the time of registration and in violation of the rights thereto. The IP lawyer Krasimira Kadieva assists with the international registration of appellations of origin by providing professional advice and preparation of all necessary documents.