Protecting and Promoting French Know-How: from Now on Manufactured Goods Are Eligible for Protected Indication
Until recently, only food, agricultural and forestry could benefit from Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) at the European level.
A 2014 French law broadened this protection to manufactured goods as well as natural resources: they are related to a territory based on their specific characteristics, know-how or manufacturing process, and must be controlled by accredited bodies. This French regulatory scheme is based on the European PGI one, the main difference lying in the approval procedure of the scheme, led by another Public Authority (the French National Institute of Industrial Property - INPI) than the one in charge of PGI.
Geographical Indication for manufactured goods is based on four cumulative elements:
• Denominating a geographical area or specific place*;
• Used to designate a crafted or manufactured product;
• Originating from this area; and
• Featuring a quality, reputation or characteristics exclusively specific to the area.
Geographical Indications authenticate and protect local/regional products, know-how and professionals and therefore contribute to economic, cultural, touristic and social development.
To be granted this label of quality and origin, operators concerned by the same product gather together and prepare a scheme document that will have to be approved by INPI. Accredited certification or inspection bodies are in charge of controlling the products.
So far, two Geographical Indications have been approved: Brittany’s Granite and Liffol seats (Liffol is a small town located on the east of France).
This French initiative ensures traceability and quality guarantees are offered to consumers. The French competent authorities are currently pursuing their action to have a European official recognition for those Geographical Indications and broaden their protection.
* Raw materials and certain production stages have no obligation to be carried out in the geographical area where final stages take place (this is a case-by-case element that is specified in the scheme document)
Credit - Liffol seats, Hôtel Fouquet's Barriere par Jean-Pierre Besse - Fabrice Ramber