Summary of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement

The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, adopted May 20, 2015, entered into force on February 26, 2020.

The Geneva Act updates and enhances the existing international registration system protecting names that identify the geographic origin of products: the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration of 1958.

The Lisbon Agreement applies only to appellations of origin – a special kind of geographical indication for products that have a particularly strong link with their place of origin.

The Geneva Act extends that protection to geographical indications alongside appellations of origin, to better take into account existing national or regional systems for the protection of distinctive designations in respect of origin-based quality products. In addition, it introduces maximum flexibility with respect to how the protection standard of the Act may be implemented (i.e. through a sui generis appellation of origin or geographical indication system or through the trademark system).

The Geneva Act also allows certain intergovernmental organizations to join, making the international system of protection more inclusive.

Together, the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement form the Lisbon System, offering more comprehensive and effective international protection for the names of origin-based quality products.