The Lisbon Convention on the Protection of Names of Origin and their International Registration, signed on 31 October 1958, ensures that Member States protect appellations of origin when they are protected in their country of origin. It contains provisions relating to what is considered a designation of origin, safeguards and establishes an international register of origin maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The agreement came into force in 1966 and was revised in Stockholm (1967) and amended in 1979 and 2015. Since May 2015, 30 states have been parties to the convention and 1,000 appellations of origin have been registered.  The Geneva Act establishes a high level of international protection. In principle, it corresponds to the protection of AO/GI registered in Switzerland. Swiss beneficiaries would benefit from this protection in many countries, notably in the EU, which tabled its accession instrument in November 2019. Costly and costly negotiations on bilateral agreements with the geneva-based contracting parties would no longer be necessary. For Swiss beneficiaries, the new system could also be profitable in markets where expected turnover is currently modest, as there are no additional adjustment or administration costs other than registration fees.
The Federal Council assumes that these incentives will provide for the potential substitution effects of new foreign AO/GI products on the Swiss market. Consumers would also benefit from the wider range of high-quality products created by this substitution effect. At the same time, the international registration system reduces the risk of deception, as it is easier to process counterfeits and imitators. The purpose of the agreements is to create a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).  Some aspects of the agreement have been replaced by the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. The recognized and protected geographical indications for products and services (z.B. Swiss Watches, Emmentaler AOP, Swiss Made) are often symbols of quality and reputation. The economic value of this data to producers and consumers is high.
However, the value of Swiss geographical indications depends on the fact that they are protected from counterfeiting and abuse, not only in Switzerland, but also in export markets. This protection is made possible by a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements. The 1958 Lisbon Convention, managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allowed for the protection of registered appellations of origin (AO).