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NMPF Joins CCFN at Intellectual Property Rights Conclave in Geneva

October 7, 2014

Working through the Consortium for Common Food Names, NMPF also monitored activities at the 2014 General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva September 27-30.

The World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, is a United Nations agency charged with developing a balanced international intellectual property system. CCFN is a non-profit organization seeking the adoption of model geographical indication guidelines worldwide.

At the WIPO meeting, CCFN voiced concerns about the expanded use of geographical indications to restrict trade through an international system known as the Lisbon Agreement.

At its heart is the ability of U.S. dairy producers to keep using cheese terms that have become part of global lexicon. The European Union, in particular, is systematically seeking to restrict the use of many of these terms in export markets.

Recently, CCFN was granted official observer status at the Lisbon Agreement Working Group. CCFN will continue efforts to protect the rights of food producers at the next Lisbon Agreement Working Group meeting, set for the end of this month.