Geographical Indications (GIs) and the upcoming changes to the EU system starting in December 2025

Geographical Indications (GIs) and the upcoming changes to the EU system starting in December 2025

The protection system of geographical indications (GIs) in the European Union is set to undergo changes as two new specific EU regulations were recently adopted. The framework in place since 1992 to protect wines, spirit drinks and agricultural products will be modernised, while geographical indications for craft and industrial products will be eligible for protection at EU level for the first time in history.













  1. What is a GI?

According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), geographical indications are intellectual property rights protecting the name of a product that has a specific geographical origin and owes its qualities and/or reputation to its particular origin. They are meant to protect such products against misuse or imitation of the registered name and guarantee the true origin of the products to the customers. Well-known GIs are for example: Parmigiano Reggiano, Kalamata olives and Bayerisches Bier.

A study published by the European Commission on 20 April 2020 has shown that geographical indications are key assets for the EU economy, as the sales value of agri-food and drink products whose names are protected represent a sale value of no less than 75 billion Euros (see also our blog article from 5 February 2021 – “GIview – the new database for Geographical Indications”).

  1. The upcoming changes to the EU protection system for GIs

For the first time in history, an EU Regulation will provide protection to geographical indications for craft and industrial products. Under the current system of protection, no protection is granted at EU level for this type of products: GIs for crafts and industrial products are only protected on a national basis, with only 16 EU Member States having implemented a specific protection system. Producers of craft and industrial products whose quality or reputation are essentially attributable to their geographical origin will now have the possibility to benefit from a uniform protection system across the entirety of the EU. A straightforward two-step registration process must be followed for a name to obtain protection as a GI. The full competence for the management of the registration process of this new IP right is given to the EUIPO, whereas the EU Commission remains the competent authority for the registration of GIs for wine, spirits and agricultural products. In addition, producer groups will be able to apply for protection of a name as a GI for craft and industrial products (such as textile, porcelain, jewellery or glassware, such as Bohemian glass), similarly to producers of agricultural products. The new EU regulation on GI protection for craft and industrial products will be applicable from 1 December 2025.

It is not yet known when the upcoming EU Regulation on GI for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products will be applicable, as the co-legislative bodies of the EU still need to formally approve the text. What is certain is that the existing GI system will be improved with the introduction of a simplified registration procedure: whereas there currently exist separate procedures for the registration of GIs in each of the three sectors (wine, spirits and food), the new regulation will provide for a single registration procedure with shorter registration times. Protection will also be granted to GI names that are used as domain names, forcing EU Member States to block domain names infringing GI names, and additional rules will be aimed at ensuring that GIs used as an ingredient in a processed product and GI products sold online remain protected. Finally, producers will be able to form groups to better manage, enforce and develop their GIs, with the added possibility of deciding to make some sustainable practices mandatory for their products.

  1. Links with more detailed information

For more information on GIs and the incoming changes to the protection system of the GIs in the EU, please consult the following links:,GIs%20as%20ingredients%20and%20online