On the Record at WIPO General Assembly

May 28th, 2020

Frequent readers of CCFN alerts know that CCFN was granted observer status by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in October 2019. This is an important step forward in CCFN’s ability to ensure balanced dialogue in the development of fair geographical indications (GI) policies that safeguard common names side-by-side with GI protections, to the benefit of consumers worldwide.

While the global COVID-19 pandemic and health safety measures moved the General Assembly meeting that would normally be held in May to a written-only exercise, CCFN still took advantage of this new observer status to submit a statement for the record. The statement congratulated Daren Tang on his election to serve as the next Director General of WIPO and expressed CCFN’s full commitment to working collaboratively with WIPO to ensure that those looking to WIPO for objective guidance and assistance on GIs and related intellectual property issues are also fully aware of the importance of safeguarding the use of common food names and how to best accomplish that.

CCFN followed this statement with a letter to Mr. Tang offering a personal congratulations and expanded upon the need to advance institutional and programmatic solutions, detailing several actionable recommendations to achieve these goals.