Oman ratifies the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications by by Royal Decree 19/2021 on February 15, 2021 .
This Geneva Act in itself is relatively new having entered into force in 2015 with Geographic specific names included in 2020. The umbrella organisation for this is the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states. Many of these Geographical brand names had previous protection within the European Union.
The Geneva Act mean that products or the use of names – such as ‘Champage’ can only be made in the specific named region, in this case the Champagne region of France. This specific name use explains the rise of the branding of the sparkling white wine name Prosecco, itself a geographical name in Italy.
Oman’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion is requesting entities and authorities to carry out the international registration of local Omani products which have geographical indications, in order to ensure its protection against any external infringement.
Names such as Omani Frankincense, Omani Halwa (sweets), Oman Khanjar (dagger), should be covered by this ratification. Other names such as ‘Chips Oman’ may also be able to gain protection.
This will mean that products carrying a Geographical specific name such as Oman, Omani and presumably Muscat (though there are family names Oman & Muscat in other countries) that are attached to products will gain almost automatic protection by the Oman government and WIPO.
Champagne and the French government are especially enthusiastic in upholding their rights – will Oman take the same stance?