Government Crest
4 September 2020

The Australian Government has opened public consultations on a possible new geographical indications (GI) right.

In June 2018 the Australian Government launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). Securing improved access to the European market through the FTA will deliver new trade and investment opportunities across Australia, including for our rural and regional areas.

In order to secure Australia’s interests in the FTA, the Government is engaging with the EU on its interests, including in relation to GIs. Consistent with its approach toward other FTA partners, the EU has identified the protection of GIs as one of its key objectives in the negotiations. The Government has made no commitment to protect specific EU GIs and has made clear it would only consider doing so if the overall FTA deal was good enough for Australia, including by delivering on Australia’s agricultural market access interests. Nothing in this consultation means the Australian Government has agreed, or will agree, to make any changes to its existing GI regulatory framework or policy.

Should Australia agree to protect specific EU GI terms through the FTA and change the way we currently protect GIs, we would need to amend our law. Were we to do so, the Government would amend the Trade Marks Act 1995 to create a GI right. 

This consultation builds on the Government’s existing engagement by seeking views on core elements of an Australian GI system we consider relevant and appropriate to our circumstances.  

To find out more, and engage in the consultations, please visit IP Australia’s Consultation Hub.