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Better GI protection within the WTO framework Stefano Fanti – Managing Director Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma Geneva, 27 May 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Better GI protection within the WTO framework Stefano Fanti – Managing Director Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma Geneva, 27 May 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Better GI protection within the WTO framework Stefano Fanti – Managing Director Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma Geneva, 27 May 2004

2 Parma Ham in Figures 200 producers, with employees 150 slaughter houses breeding farms Annual production: +/- 9 million hams 80% sold on the Italian market Exported to more than 60 countries Annual turnover: 1.5 billion

3 High Costs due to the limited GI Protection Numerous abuses of the Parma Ham name High costs for producers –Legal costs: more than 1 million Euros per year –Image and Reputation towards consumers undermined –Loss of many market opportunities High costs for consumers : mislead on the quality and origin of the product

4 Misleading label and Abuse of the designation Parma Ham in Canada Parma = Italy Italian authentic! Italian flag It must be Italian!

5 Protecting a Geographical Indication: Mission almost Impossible! Absence of sui generis GI system in many countries Registration via trademark systems refused: generic and/or descriptive name Limited interest in trademark registration if product not allowed in the country Name already registered as trademark = one is forced to purchase a registered trademark

6 Article 22 Protection Not Sufficient Article 22 TRIPS mainly protects against consumer deception –Extremely difficult to prove consumer deception –Burden of proof on the holder of a GI –Legal uncertainty: up to courts to decide Article 22 does not prevent: –GIs from becoming generic –Abuse of GI name by trademark Consumers not protected against deception

7 Better protection of GIs required Article 23 Protection for all GI products –No discrimination between GI products –Legal means to prevent: Use of GI name even when true origin indicated Use of GI name in translation Use of GI name with expressions such as « like », « kind », « style » Registration of trademark than contains a GI name Need a legally binding multilateral register open to all geographical indications

8 Thank you for your attention


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