Intellectual Property Aspects of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement
International Trade Law & Regulation 2 (2020)
16 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020
Date Written: February 21, 2020
The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEPA) was signed on 1 July 2018 and entered into force on 1 February 2019, with Ch.14 focusing on intellectual property (IP) rights. JEPA should be hailed as a positive contribution to strengthening IP protection in the two blocs, and therefore further promoting trade and reciprocal investments. The IP Ch. of JEPA covers all IP rights, including copyright, trade marks, geographical indications (GIs), designs and unregistered appearance of products, patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade secrets and pharma test data. Given the important role that GI provisions play in JEPA, this article pays particular attention to them. During the negotiations, Japan made concessions to the EU with regard to GIs protection. Indeed the EU has a strong interest here, as its Member States (in particular the Mediterranean and southern countries, namely France, Italy and Spain, and to a lesser extent Portugal and Greece) possess a large number of geographical names in relation to foodstuff, wines and spirits, such as Champagne, Parmigiano and Feta (conversely, the number of Japanese GIs protected in the EU under this agreement is far fewer).
Keywords: Intellectual property law, trade law
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