Better protect European traditional know-how

Man and woman in a craftsmans atelier

The EPP Group has successfully pushed to better protect European traditional know-how without creating new bureaucracy. Today, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee will adopt its position on new rules to protect geographical indications for craft and industrial products.

“It was very important to me to make it easy for manufacturers to submit their quality label application. This is why we think SMEs should benefit from additional simplification and reduced fees. In addition, Member States should not have to set up any new structures for the registration procedure, but can provide for an application to be submitted directly to the Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property”, said Marion Walsmann MEP, Parliament’s lead negotiator on the new law.

The new Regulation will create an EU-wide mechanism to protect the qualities attributed to specific European local skills and traditions relating to craft and industrial products. A sort of quality label that guarantees the authenticity and quality of goods produced in the EU. Customers who buy Solingen cutlery, Bohemian glass or Limoges porcelain, for example, can then be sure that the products they have bought are not fake or an imitation. In the EU, it is estimated that around 300 artisanal and industrial products could benefit from such protection, complementing the existing EU protection for agricultural geographical indications like ‘Prosciutto di Parma’ or ‘Champagne’.

“It is important that the EU acts now. Around 21 percent of manufacturers in the EU experience a loss of income of between 5 and 30 percent of their sales due to products manufactured in third countries and sold as authentic. To stop this, we propose to put in place efficient controls related to the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights across the EU internal market. The protection of geographical indications should apply to both offline and online trade. We also want domain names to be protected”, Walsmann explained.

“With the Regulation, we are not only increasing legal certainty for manufacturers and consumers throughout Europe, but also promoting traditional European craftsmanship, the awareness of entire regions and thus strengthening the competitiveness of European companies”, she concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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