“Absolue Pays de Grasse”, “Linge Basque” and “Pierre d’Arudy”: three new geographical indications approved by the INPI
[23/11/2020] The INPI has just extended the list of Geographical Indications for handicrafts and industrial products (GI) thus allowing the companies concerned to identify and promote their products and know-how through this official sign of quality and origin.
This collective protection tool used to protect traditional French handicrafts was created by the Law of 17 March 2014 but it is still little known by the public.
Let’s get back to its definition, the procedure for obtaining it from the INPI and its interest for operators.
What is it about?
The Geographical Indication for Industrial and Handicraft Products, also known as "Non-Agricultural products", is composed of the name of a geographical area or a given place used to designate a product which originates therein and possesses a given quality, reputation or other characteristic attributable to that geographical origin.
The three new Geographical Indications increases the number of GIs to 12. Granite de Bretagne and Porcelaine de Limoges -approved in 2017- and Aubusson Tapestry -approved in 2018- are part of the existing list of GIs which the famous Marseille soap may also join someday.
How to obtain a Geographical Indication?
The Defense and Management Organization (ODG) - that represents and gathers together the operators of the PGI product sector - files a request for approval of the specification for the geographical indication and pays the fee.
As part of its instruction, the INPI may request additional information in order to ensure that the terms of production or manufacture described in the specification allow to guarantee that the product does possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic that is attributable to the geographical area.
Then, the INPI publishes the filing in the Official Journal and the BOPI (Official Bulletin of Industrial Property) and, then, a period of two months opens for third parties to issue favourable or unfavourable opinions as observations to which the ODG can respond.
Finally, the INPI notifies its decision to approve or reject the specification and publishes the same.
What is the point?
Once the Geographical Indication is approved, the logo can be used in connection with the products in question, covered by the specification and any harm to the GI will constitute an infringement.
Thus, since 13 November, sellers of table linen with coloured stripes identified under the name " LINGE BASQUE " but woven and manufactured outside the strictly defined area may be prosecuted and punished on the basis of the infringement of the new GI. The basic foundations of unfair competition, deceptive commercial practices and / or infringement of individual or collective trademarks will only be complementary.
Our staff remain at your disposal for any further information.