Champagne or Sparkling Wine? Geographic Indications Protection in China

Photo Andrea Parrish GeyerAs the food and beverage market offers many business opportunities to European SMEs as Chinese consumers are looking for healthy quality products, we have dedicated today’s blog post to geographical indications protection in China. Registering geographical indications in China offers another layer of protection to SMEs that are producing European high-quality products associated with certain regions or production methods.

What is a Geographic Indication (GI)?

“Champagne”, “Bordeaux”, “Parma Ham”, “Parmesan”. Each of these products, associated with certain regions, are renowned and trusted for their nature, quality and authenticity. As a consumer, you are probably more familiar with “Scotch”, “Cognac” and “Bavarian beer” than unnamed brands claiming to use the same ingredients. A GI is therefore a labelling that identifies a good as originating in a specific territory, region or locality, where characteristics of the good are associated with its place of origin.

GIs are protected by World Trade Organization (WTO) signatories, including all 28 European Union (EU) Member States (MS) and China – since 2001. This is designed to prevent unfair competition and to protect consumers from purchasing goods that misleadingly claim to be from a particular place.

Made in China?

China’s middle class is growing; as has its appetite for imported – predominantly Western – products. Younger generations spend significantly less time cooking than their parents and are increasingly quality- and status-conscious. In addition, food safety concerns in recent years have encouraged Chinese shoppers to more carefully consider the origin of the products that they consume. Purchasing patterns have therefore experienced a significant shift. Regarding food, large numbers of Chinese people are purchasing brands that are recognised for their quality and food safety standards – this has stimulated a rise in sales of Western goods. Similarly, while sales of traditional alcoholic drinks, like baijiu, still dominate in many places, individuals in wealthy Tier 1 cities are increasingly opting for higher-end Western wines, beers and spirits.[1]  Continue reading “Champagne or Sparkling Wine? Geographic Indications Protection in China” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Geographical Indications in Thailand

shutterstock_96318524Today we’ll be looking into the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) in Thailand.

GIs are names or signs which identify goods as having a specific geographical origin, with the implication that they possess the qualities, reputation, or characteristics for which such products from that region are well known.

Thailand has pioneered GI protection in South-East Asia, and boasts one of the most developed GI protection frameworks in the region. This article explores this framework, as well as touching on how SMEs can ensure their region’s GI is registered in Thailand and protect their rights when necessary.

As always, if you have any further questions, feel free to peruse the wealth of information available on our website, or get in touch with one of our experts for free, tailored advice.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Geographical Indications in Thailand” »

In Vino Veritas: Terroir IPR: Geographical Indications and IP Protection for your Appellation of Origin

wine label-04Wine has been classified by region for almost the entirety of its long and varied history, the Ancient Greeks stamped amphorae with the seal of the region they came from, and references to wine, identified by region are found throughout the Bible and other religious texts. Whilst this tradition of geographical identification continued throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages, it was only in 1716, with the introduction of the Chianti region in Italy, protected by edict of the then Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In today’s article we’ll explore the concept of GI protection and some of  the schemes available for European wine producers for the protection of their products. Tomorrow, we’ll look a bit further into how wine regulatory bodies such as The Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO) actively work with producers and distributors to counter infringers in China.

Continue reading “In Vino Veritas: Terroir IPR: Geographical Indications and IP Protection for your Appellation of Origin” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Geographical Indications in Vietnam

Photo Andrea Parrish GeyerGeographic Indications, or ‘GIs’ as they are generally known, are an important measure of protection for producers of distinctive, quality goods typically produced in their region and well known as being produced in that region.

These products, which draw their popularity not only from their original brand, but also the conditions, produce, and production techniques which have been associated with the region in which they are produced.

This article summarises the current state of GI protection in Vietnam, and how new GI regions can register their denominations of origin in the country.

As always, any questions which remain can be directed to our in house IP experts any time!

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Geographical Indications in Vietnam” »

Champagne or sparkling wine? Geographical Indications in China

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GI imageWhat is a Geographical Indication (GI)?

“Champagne”, “Bordeaux”, “Parma ham”, “Parmesan”. Each of these products, associated with certain regions, are renowned and trusted for their nature, quality and authenticity. As a consumer, you are probably more familiar with “Scotch”, “Cognac” and “Bavarian beer” than unnamed brands claiming to use the same ingredients. A GI is therefore a labelling that identifies a good as originating in a specific territory, region or locality, where characteristics of the good are associated with its place of origin.[1] Continue reading “Champagne or sparkling wine? Geographical Indications in China” »