The French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) approves the geographical indication "Porcelaine de Limoges"

A Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is an official sign of origin and quality implemented by European regulation in 1992 and now governed by the Regulation n°1151/2012 of 21 November 2012. Originally limited to specific food products that bore geographical names and linked to their geographical origin, the PGI was extended to wines by European regulation on the 1st of August 2009 and to manufactured products and natural resources by the law n°2014-344 of 17 March 2014 relating to consumption.

In France, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) approves the PGI for agricultural and wine products whereas the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) grants the geographical indications (GI) for manufactured products.

By decision n°2017-168 of 14 November 2017 (press release of 23 November 2017) the INPI issued a label to the Association for the geographical indication "Porcelaine de Limoges".

From now on, a manufacturer or distributor can affix the name "Porcelaine de Limoges" on one of its products only if he respected detailed specifications providing that each and every step of the manufacturing process of this product (notably the preparation of the dough, the mould, the cooking, the enamelling etc.) is completely performed in Haute-Vienne.

This decision was long-awaited by the manufacturers of "Porcelaine de Limoges" who had been fighting for years to protect their products against unfair competition and counterfeiting.

The extension of the GI to manufactured products and to natural resources increased the interest for this sign since it allows manufacturers of products coming from a specific geographical origin and which have qualities, a reputation or features linked to this geographical origin to defend themselves against competition of products which are not or are not entirely produced in the considered geographical area. This scope expansion was even more critical since manufactured products and natural resources are not eligible to the labels Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) or Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) which are exclusively reserved for food and wine products.

Two other applications for geographical indications are currently being examined by the INPI: “Pierre de Bourgogne” and “Savon de Marseille”. No doubt that other applications will follow.

Key words: Behring, Anne-Solène Gay, geographical indication, PI, protected geographical indication, PGI, porcelaine de Limoges, Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle, French National Institute of Industrial Property, INPI, National Institute of Origin and Quality, INAO, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, AOC, Appellation d'Origine Protégée, AOP, decision n°2017-168 of 14 November 2017

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