Belgium: The Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications (GIs) for agricultural products and foodstuffs will be effective from today onwards. This Agreement amends the agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products (the so-called “Agricultural Agreement”) by adding an Annex 12 (providing for the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs) to the Agricultural Agreement.
One can click here to read the GI Agreement with its Annex 12. Article 7 of this Annex specifies in detail the extent of protection granted to the GIs listed in Appendix 1 to the GI Agreement (listing the Parties’ GI’s which are protected by the other Party), which appears identical to the protection granted by Article 13 of the PDO/PGI Regulation No. 510/2006.
In particular: “The direct or indirect commercial use of a protected GI is forbidden (Art. 7(2) Annex 12): (a) with regard to a comparable product which does not comply with the specification; and (b) with regard to a non-comparable product if the use thereof exploits the reputation of the GI in question.
The protection in question shall apply in the case of usurpation, imitation or evocation, even if (Art. 7(3) Annex 12): (i) the genuine origin of the product is indicated; (ii) the name in question is used in translation, transliteration or transcription; (iii) the name used is accompanied by terms such as “kind”, “type”, “style”, “imitation”, “method” or other similar expressions.
The GIs are also protected, inter alia, against (Art.7(4) Annex 12): (i) any other false or misleading indication as to the genuine origin of the product, its provenance, method of production, nature or essential qualities listed on the packaging, including the inner packaging, the advertising material or documents relating to the product; (ii) any use of a container or packaging liable to convey a false impression as to the origin of the product; (iii) any use of the shape of the product if this is distinctive; (iv) any other practice liable to mislead the public as to the true origin of the product.