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Whether a GI can be protected under an International IP Agreement?

Vietnam entered two significant international trade deals in 2018-2019 that require, among other things, a higher standard of intellectual property protection in Vietnam. The first is the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“CPTPP“), which was signed in March 2018 and took effect on 14 January 2019. The second is the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (“EVFTA“), which was signed in June 2019 and entered into force on 1 August 2020.

EVFTA is a free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam. The EVFTA is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreements that the EU has ever signed with a developing country. It covers a wide range of areas, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, and sustainable development. One important aspect of the EVFTA is its recognition and protection of geographical indications (GIs). GIs are products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are attributable to that origin. Under the EVFTA, 169 European GIs are recognized and protected in Vietnam, including well-known products such as Champagne, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Roquefort cheese.

Conversely, the EU recognizes and protects 39 Vietnamese GIs, including products such as Phú Quốc fish sauce and Buôn Ma Thuột coffee. The recognition and protection of GIs under the EVFTA help to protect the reputation and quality of these products and provide benefits to producers, consumers, and regional economies.

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