By Moeller IP.
On Tuesday, 17th of May 2022, the Parlasul (Committee on Brazilian Representation in the Mercosur Parliament) approved the 2019 Agreement for the Mutual Protection of Geographical Indications Originating in the Territories of Mercosur States Parties (MSC 601/2020). Signed in Bento Gonçalves (RS), the agreement deals with cooperation between member countries to preserve their geographical identities, which are intellectual property markers that demonstrate the origin and certify the quality of products.
The agreement applies to agricultural and agri-food products and services, wines and spirits. For example, it prohibits geographical indications recognized by it from being registered as trademarks for similar products or services, within the framework of national legal systems, except when the trademark registration application is prior to mutual protection.
The protection, however, does not extend to names of animal breeds or plant varieties, and a country does not need to protect names that, in its territory, are in common use to designate a product or service. Trademarks containing a geographical indication will also not be registered when their use constitutes an act of unfair competition or misleads the consumer in relation to the true place of origin.
The agreement also creates the Committee on Geographical Indications, which will be made up of representatives of the national institutions or bodies responsible for the protection of Geographical Indications and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the States Parties. This committee will meet at least once a year.