Oman’s accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, as ratified by Royal Decree 19/2021 on February 15, 2021, provides legal protection of Sultanate’s local products which bear geographical indications, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP).
Covered in the scope of the protections conferred by the Geneva Act are, among others, the Omani dagger, Omani frankincense, Omani sweets, Omani ships, pomegranates of Al Jabal al Akhdhar, Omani Jabalian goats, Southern cows, Omani lemons and Omani thyme, as the concern Act allows international registration of geographical indications in addition to appellations of origin.
The ministry pointed out that the adoption of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications will also support the generation of financial revenues for the Sultanate as member states of the agreement protect the appellations of origin and their geographical indications within the Sultanate.
MoCIIP has also called on all competent entities and authorities to carry out the international registration of local products which have geographical indications, in order to ensure its protection against any an external infringement.
Ali bin Hamad al Maamari (pictured), Director of the Intellectual Property Department at MoCIIP, said: “The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications has been signed in Geneva on May 20, 2015, while it entered into force on February 26, 2020.
The Act strengthens the existing international registration system to protect names that are identifying the geographical origin of products, while the Lisbon Agreement applies to appellations of origin, which are a special type of geographical indications being placed on products that are closely related to their origin.”
The Act also provides maximum flexibility in implementing the legal protection standard (through a special system of appellations of origin or geographical indications, or through the trademark system).
The Act also allows the accession of some intergovernmental organisations to it in a way that enhances the comprehensive character of the international protection system, while Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement together provide effective and more comprehensive international protection for product names whose quality is related to a certain origin.
Al Maamari explained that the International Bureau of the Act maintains an international registry that records the international registrations that are made under this Act or under the Lisbon Agreement and the 1967 Document or both, as well as maintains the data of these international registrations.
He explained that the application for the protection of geographical indications in the Sultanate is being filed at the International Bureau of the Act via the Intellectual Property Department at MoCIIP, where the application can be filed in the name of the beneficiaries or a legal person who enjoys legal bases under specific laws.
In case the product is located between a cross-border geographical area, the Act enables the filing of a joint application to register it, while the neighbouring contracting parties may share in the filing of one application through a competent administration that agrees to appoint in accordance with their joint agreement.