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Brussels Briefing n. 31 Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system 15 th May 2013 GIs and other instruments.

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Presentation on theme: "Brussels Briefing n. 31 Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system 15 th May 2013 GIs and other instruments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brussels Briefing n. 31 Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system 15 th May GIs and other instruments for protecting producers assets in the origin and tradition of their products: factors of success in ACP countries Bernard OConnor, OConnor European Lawyers

2 ACP - Brussels Policy Briefing no.31 Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system, 15 May 2013 ACP - Brussels Policy Briefing no.31 Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system, 15 May 2013 GIs and other tools for protecting the origin and tradition of products: Factors of success in ACP countries Bernard OConnor

3 GIs and other instruments for protecting producers assets in the origin and tradition of their products Factors of Success in ACP Countries

4 Contents Legal options for protecting the origin and tradition of the products Traditional knowledge Trademarks GIs Examples of origin quality products State of play of protection in ACP countries

5 Legal options available Traditional knowledge Trademarks Collective marks Certification marks Geographical indications Public labels Independent labels

6 Traditional knowledge Knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities concerning plants, animals, minerals, soils, combinations of organic and inorganic matters, processes and technologies, means of enhancing individual health, culture Traditional knowledge is not written and takes the form of stories, songs, folklore, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community law, culinary recipes and agricultural practices First explicit reference to traditional knowledge in the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) A positive example of protection: the Hoodia Cactus case Sui generis protection of traditional knowledge in Panama

7 Trademarks Article 15.1 WTO TRIPS defines a trademark asany sign, or any combination of signs, capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, shall be capable of constituting a trademark. To qualify for trademark protection, a sign must be distinctive and non-deceptive for consumers Protection ensured thought registration Under certain conditions, a geographical name can be registered as a trademark, i.e. if the trademark has acquired a secondary meaning (Schwartauer in Germany), or when the mark has acquired a fanciful meaning (Mont Blanc for pens)

8 Collective marks and certification marks Collective marks are signs which distinguish the geographical origin, material, mode of manufacture or other common characteristics of goods or services of different enterprises using the collective mark. The owner may be either an association of which those enterprises are members or any other entity, including a public institution or a cooperative Certification marks are given for compliance with defined standards, but are not confined to any membership. They be used by anyone who can certify that the products involved meet certain standards defined by the owner of the certification mark

9 Scope of protection… Trademarks, collective marks and certification marks ensure the protection of geographical names based on private initiative Generally, third parties are not prevented from using the registered geographical name in a translated version, or from using the same name with a delocalising expression (like style, kind, type) Important financial resources are required, mainly because of registration fees. As a private mechanism, the costs of enforcement thought trademarks, as well as costs linked to the trial or to the monitoring of compliance with defined standards, are covered by the owners

10 ..and a positive example Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a globally protected certification mark, meaning only coffee certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica can be labeled as such. The Coffee Industry Regulations Act allows for five classifications depending on factors such as size, appearance, and defects allowed Over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan

11 GIs in a nutshell Article 22.1 WTO TRIPS defines GIs as Indications that identify a good as originating in the territory of a Party or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. Quality Characteristics Reputation Geographical area Production specification

12 Benefits of GIs in ACP countries Enhancement of resources: export of GI products, reputation and traditional knowledge, increase of production and of the local jobs Public authorities interest: consumers interest, public control Social data: rural depopulation, social networks and collaboration Environment: protection of soils against erosion and desertification, biological diversity Under sui generis law, solid protection against direct commercial use, including in case of delocalising expressions, imitation and evocation

13 Concrete aspects of establishing GI protection Identifying links between the product and its geographical area of origin Adopting a collective approach Ensuring quality and satisfy consumers expectations Coherent policy, effective legal protection and proactive marketing strategy Certification bodies and control procedures (and bearing the costs)

14 Examples of origin quality products Zanzibar cloves (clous de girofles), Konyagi and Kilimanjaro coffee, Rift Valley Coffee from Tanzania;

15 Examples of origin quality products Sidamo coffee from Ethiopia,

16 Examples of origin quality products Rooibos tea and Karoo lamb from South Africa,

17 Examples of origin quality products Beurre de karité du plateau massif from Burkina Faso,

18 Examples of origin quality products Miel blanc dOku and Poivre blanc de Penja from Cameroon.

19 Examples of origin quality products Shama shea butter and Fine Flavour Cocoa from Ghana,

20 Examples of origin quality products Rwanda Mountain Coffee, Pineapples and Café Diama from Guinea,

21 Examples of origin quality products Rodrigues Lime, while chilis and pickles from Mauritius, Karakoel pelt from Namibia, Senegal Yett, West Nile District cotton, Waragi & West Nile Honey from Uganda.

22 examples of origin quality products Products of Kenya: Mount Kenya Roses and Ngoro Ngoro Mountain Coffee, Mt. Kenya coffee, Gathuthi tea, Kisii tea, Kericho tea, Mombasa mango, Machakos mango, Asembo mango, Muranga bananas and Kisii bananas, Molo lamb, Kitengela ostrich meat, Omena fish and Mursik milk, Naivasha wine, Kakamega Papaya, Kakamega omukombera, Tilapia fish from Lake Victoria and Tilapia fish from Lake Turkana. Handicrafts would include Kisii soapstone, Akamba carvings, Maasai attire and beads.

23 Examples of origin quality products Gabon sweet potato (which is five times sweeter than the normal potato and has one of the highest sucrose content)

24 Examples of origin quality products High-grade cotton from Chad; Kivu and Ituri for coffee from Congo; Zimbabwe tobacco and Chipinga coffee;

25 Examples of origin quality products Korhogo fabrics from Corte DIvoire; The Mananara vanilla from Madagascar and many others…

26 State of play in ACP countries There are ACP countries where GIs are recognised as a separated type of intellectual property and sui generis protection of GIs is in place, i.e. Algeria, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Ivory Cost, Jamaica, Morocco, Panama, Senegal, St Lucia There are ACP countries that not have specific laws for the protection of GIs but protect them as certification marks, collective trademarks or just ordinary trademarks, i.e. a big part of Africa There are then many countries which do not have registered or protected GIs. Therefore, there is a large number of GIs which are not protected in the countries of origin, but are recognised by the general public as indicators of quality traditional goods produced in specified geographical places

27 Factors of success Establishing a sui generis protection of GIs ensuring a strong IPR protection Establishing control and certification systems managed by independent authorities (i.e. the Darjeeling Tea Association) Producers' group proactivity about marketing strategy and production (i.e. Café de Colombia and Arrowroot from Saint Vincent and Grenadine) Strong commitment amongst producers (Argan oil)

28 Thanks!

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