The purpose of the agreements is to create a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).  Some aspects of the Agreement have been replaced by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. 9. The audit shall be carried out by one or more countries of the Special Union or by external auditors in accordance with the Financial Regulation. They shall be appointed by the Assembly with their approval. (8) (a) The headquarters agreement concluded with the country in whose territory the organization has its registered office shall provide that, if the working capital fund is insufficient, that country shall grant advances. The amount of such advances and the conditions under which they are granted shall be the subject of separate agreements between that country and the Organization. Recognised and protected geographical indications for products and services (e.g. Swiss watches, Emmentaler PDO, Swiss Made) are often symbols of quality and reputation. The economic value of these indications is high for producers and consumers. However, the value of Switzerland`s geographical indications depends on the fact that they are protected against counterfeiting and abuse, not only in Switzerland, but also in export markets. This protection is made possible by a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements.
The Lisbon Agreement of 1958, managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allowed for the protection of registered appellations of origin (AO). However, the success of this agreement has been modest; Only about thirty countries have ratified it. Switzerland has also not joined. Wto negotiations on the extension of the level of protection and the creation of a multilateral register of AOs and Geographical Indications (GIs) under the TRIPS Agreement have not progressed. Countries interested in the protection of geographical NICs have therefore developed the Lisbon Agreement. With the Geneva Act, negotiated in 2015 and entered into force on February 26, 2020, there is now an international treaty accessible not only to AO, but also to all IMs and which also offers new perspectives to those interested in Switzerland. The Federal Council therefore proposes to ratify the Geneva Act and amend the Trademark Act with a view to its implementation. It should also be mentioned that the protection to be offered under the Lisbon Agreement did not exclude protection that might already exist in a Member State under other international treaties such as the Paris Agreement, the Madrid Agreement to remove false or misleading claims about the origin of goods or the Agreement on Trade Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). under bilateral or regional agreements, or national legislation or judicial decisions. The Geneva Act creates a high level of international protection. In principle, it corresponds to the protection of AO/GIs registered in Switzerland.
This protection would benefit Swiss beneficiaries in many countries, in particular in the EU, which deposited its instrument of accession in November 2019. It would no longer be necessary to negotiate bilateral agreements with the Contracting Parties to the Geneva Act at prices and in the long term. .