December 23, 2015
The International Trademark Association’s Geographical Names Conference was held in the beautiful City of Rome, Italy last December 10 and 11. Federis was not only a sponsor, but also a participant, with two members of the firm attending the event.
The event was timely given that geographical indications have become a hot topic of debate in current international trade agreement negotiations. Jurisdictions around the world are facing important policy decisions on how to protect the names of products that are linked to a specific geographic place.
Over the two-day conference, experts from around the world debated on the economic benefits of geographic indications and on the appropriate level of protection to be accorded for such products. The participants gained insight into brand owner strategies, as well as policy makers’ point of view on how best to enforce GI protection. The speakers included representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, WIPO, WTO, as well as brand owners and officers of IP Offices in various countries. INTA also launched a new member resource “Geographical Indications, Certification Marks and Collective Marks: An International Guide” to assist attorneys in determining how to protect geographical indications, certification marks, and collective marks in various jurisdictions.
The conference was not only an educational event, but also provided a great opportunity for networking among the 167 attendees who represent 48 countries. The participants had the opportunity to feast like the Romans when they all gathered for a dinner in the magnificent surroundings of the Costaguti Palace hosted by seven local Italian firms. Overall, the event was a success and certainly brought more attention to an important and controversial topic in IP law.