In 2020, the CarIPI project started to develop a model Geographical Indication (GI) law which can be used by CARIFORUM States to modernise their legal frameworks. As a first step, a review of the currently-applicable legislation on GIs in the 16 CARIFORUM states was conducted and feedback shared and discussed with the IPOs of each country.
Secondly, a draft of the GI Model Law has been prepared, considering, inter alia, provisions of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, existing legal frameworks in the CARIFORUM countries, the draft Intra-CF GI Agreement, the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on the international protection of GIs, and WTO TRIPS provisions.
On 10 December, CARIFORUM States will meet and be consulted on the latest developments of the GI Model Law.
Caribbean GIs and speciality products have the potential to achieve a greater presence in international markets, particularly in the EU where consumers are willing to pay higher prices for origin-linked products (OLPs). To fully take advantage of these opportunities, producers of OLPs, where appropriate, must be able to register their products as GIs at the national level first, to enable them to then seek protection in other international markets. While there has been registration of GIs at the national level, and internationally, many CARIFORUM countries do not yet have in place a fully-operational GI registration framework.
There is a need, therefore, to understand how the laws, regulations and practice can be improved in order to create a legal basis and a framework that are likely to deliver the benefits expected from this type of IPR. There is a particular need for them to function as a quality scheme and local economic development tool, in order to be aligned with international standards, facilitating ultimately international protection. In addition, a model law will be provided which CS can use to update their GI laws.