CCFN Discusses Collaboration with WIPO on Common Names

December 8th, 2021

CCFN met virtually with U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Daren Tang in January to welcome him in his new role and to discuss potential areas of collaboration, particularly on issues related to the use of commonly named products.

In a February follow-up letter to Director-General Tang, CCFN reiterated its offer to work with the WIPO to ensure that interested parties are provided balanced information on issues related to common names so they can make informed decisions in the best interests of their producers, consumers, trading partners, and other stakeholders.

CCFN also recommended that WIPO employ institutional and programmatic solutions to ensure that guidance on GIs and other intellectual property issues incorporate matters related to common names and the importance of a balanced and fair approach. That input yielded a step in the right direction with more balanced representation for common name users during WIPO’s flagship GI Symposium, held virtually this year.

Since 2019, CCFN has been recognized as an official WIPO Observer and has participated in relevant committee, general assembly, and other meetings representing the interests of common name users. Earlier this year CCFN participated in the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) and the October WIPO General Assembly meetings. Participation in these meetings not only allows CCFN to be aware

of international developments in the GI and common name space but also provides an opportunity to remind various parties around the world of the intellectual property rights of common name users.