In 2007, the European Commission recognized “Café de Colombia” as the first non-European Protected Geographical Indication. It was the result of longstanding advertising efforts promoting the Colombian Coffee as a synonym of quality, particularly guaranteeing its singleorigin. Around the indication “Café de Colombia”, economical, cultural, political and social benefits have been achieved. Consequently, this case demonstrates the relevance of indications of geographical origin (IGOs), and the need for adequate measures of protection. Nevertheless, this case also reveals the inconvenient regulation of the TRIPS Agreement regarding this matter. First, the paper demonstrates that the TRIPS Agreement allows the registration of individual Trademarks (TMs) containing or consisting of IGOs, which leads to a symbiosis between two incompatible regimes. As a result, the TRIPS Agreement makes feasible the monopolization of IGOs through TM registration. It also godfathers the potential misleading use of TMs regarding the geographical origin of the products. To support these assertions, it is required to draw a parallel between TM law and the IGO regime. It is also relevant to present the variety of means of protection that national jurisdictions might adopt to implement the TRIPS Agreement, avoiding the registration of individual TMs. Second, the document highlights the discriminatory regulation adopted by the TRIPS Agreement on IGOs, favoring indications for wines and spirits. It studies the origins of such a discriminatory system of protection, to demonstrate that no plausible justification lies on it. Therefore, this paper advocates for the extension of the protection currently reserved to indications for wines and spirits. In doing so, the analysis of “Café de Colombia” results even more eloquent because Colombia, a country famous for its coffee rather than for its production of wines and spirits (in which it has no tradition at all), is part of the opponent group, advocating for the discriminatory two-tiered system adopted by the TRIPS Agreement.
Agregar etiquetas para Indications of Geographical Origin vis-a-vis Trademarks. Analysis in the light of Café de Colombia = Indicaciones Geográficas versus Marcas. Análisis con especial referencia a Café de Colombia