December 16, 2022
The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications reached a new milestone on December 15, 2022, with the accession of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). OAPI is the second intergovernmental organization to join the Lisbon System.
Two years after its entry into force, the Geneva Act now offers protection in 16 Contracting Parties, while the Lisbon System covers up to 70 countries.
With OAPI’s accession, the geographical coverage of the Geneva Act now extends to all 17 OAPI member states (namely, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo).
This accession will allow OAPI member states to protect both their geographical indications under the Geneva Act, such as the renowned “Ananas Pain de Sucre du Plateau d’Allada” (Benin), “Chapeau de Saponé” (Burkina Faso), “Penja Pepper” (Cameroon), “Café Ziama Macenta” (Guinea), “Kilichi du Niger” (Niger) or “Échalote de Bandiagara” (Mali), to name only a few.
The Geneva Act will enter into force with respect to OAPI on March 15, 2023.
The Geneva Act helps producers of quality products, linked to origin, to protect the distinctive designations of their products in multiple jurisdictions, either as appellations of origin or geographical indications, , through a single application filed with WIPO, and the payment of one set of fees.
The Lisbon System provides protection for names that identify the geographic origin of products such as coffee, tea, fruits, cheese, wine, pottery, glass and cloth.