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Monday 28 March 2011


GIs for Paraguay? Maybe this year ...

It has been reported that Paraguay's Ministry of Industry and Commerce has proposed a law to protect appellations of origin and geographic indications. Foreign appellations and GIs will be registrable, so long as (i) they are protected in their country of origin, and (ii) the country of origin offers reciprocal treatment for appellations and GIs emanating from Paraguay. 

The proposed law has a lengthy list of terms that will not be registrable.  These include generic terms, terms which are liable to confuse or mislead consumers and those which are already registered as trade marks. Like trade marks, however, registration will be for an initial period of ten years and will be renewable.  All registrations will be subject to modification or cancellation where appropriate.  Enforcement is to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which can order injunctive relief or inflict fines, while the courts will have the power to impose fines or prison sentences of up to five years in counterfeiting cases.

There is no significant opposition to the bill, which is expected to become law later this year.

Source: "PARAGUAY: Congress Considers Law to Protect Geographical Indications", INTA Bulletin, March 15, 2011 Vol. 66 No. 6, information supplied by Wilfrido Fernandez (Zacarias & Fernandez, Asunción).