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WTO Public Symposium The TRIPS Agreement Ten Years Later: The Relationship Between Trademarks and GIs Presentation by Clay Hough Senior Vice President.

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Presentation on theme: "WTO Public Symposium The TRIPS Agreement Ten Years Later: The Relationship Between Trademarks and GIs Presentation by Clay Hough Senior Vice President."— Presentation transcript:

1 WTO Public Symposium The TRIPS Agreement Ten Years Later: The Relationship Between Trademarks and GIs Presentation by Clay Hough Senior Vice President and General Counsel International Dairy Foods Association April 22, 2005

2 What is the International Dairy Foods Association? IDFA is the U.S. dairy processors collective voice in Washington, D.C., throughout the country and in the international arena. Members range from large multinational corporations to single plant operations, and represent more than 85% of the total volume of milk, cultured products, cheese, and ice cream and frozen desserts produced in the United States. IDFA members market approximately 80 percent of the cheese products sold in the United States.

3 Extending protection of Geographic Indications (GIs ) IDFA is concerned about: Extension of protection of GIs. Restriction of terms (claw back) that are in some cases deemed generic for foods. The establishment of a multilateral register for wines and spirits and possible implications for food products.

4 EUs Wish List In September 2003, during the Fifth Ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the EU presented a list of the following GIs to the WTO: Asiago Feta Fontina Gorgonzola Grana Padano Manchego Mozzarella di Bufala Campagna Parmiggiano Reggiano Pecorino Romano Reblochon Roquefort

5 Why are GIs a concern ? The current EU internal GI system protects: - 2,100 types of wines and spirits foods, including 149 cheeses - 63 meat-based products - 16 types of table olives

6 The Problem with the EU GI System ? The current EUs GI system: - inhibits U.S. feta and parmesan manufacturers to export their cheese to EU. -In Europe, Kraft cannot sell Parmesan instead it sells Pamesello.

7 A faulty EU GI System The EU has problems enforcing its own GI system: –Germany is Europe's leading producer of Parmesan after Italy. –The largest producer of Feta is not a Greek company. The Danes manufacture most of the Feta in the EU. Imagine enforcing and monitoring the use of GI terms.

8 Why are GIs a Concern? Restrict use of commonly known product names in domestic market. Result is reduced choice and consumer confusion as known products are withdrawn from the market. Impact on exports to other WTO Member countries.

9 Why are GIs a concern? If WTO Members accept the GI registration system: - IDFA members companies would lose access to established product names. - Consumers would have to be convinced that the new product is the same quality as the cheese that they have been buying for decades. -Millions of dollars in packaging costs and marketing to preserve and regain sales.

10 Generic cheeses IDFA members companies are some of the Worlds largest producers of Mozzarella and Parmesan. Leprino started manufacturing Mozzarella in Kraft has been producing and marketing: - Parmesan cheese for more than six decades, and - Feta cheese for twenty years.

11 Potential GI Impact On IDFA Members Cheese# of Companies - Asiago24 - Blue Cheese/Gorgonzola 22 - Cream Cheese/Neufchatel29 - Feta29 - Fontina12 - Harvati19 - Mascarpone8 - Mozzarella72 - Parmesan43 - Provolone39 - Romano27 - Swiss/Emmental34

12 Potential GI impact In 2002, the U.S. cheese industry was valued $13.7 billion (at wholesale). The amount of cheese produced in U.S. in 2003: billion lbs of Mozzarella 676 million lbs of Cream Cheese/Neufchatel 283 million lbs of Provolone 264 million lbs of Swiss (Emmental) 127 million lbs of Parmesan

13 GI solution Key question is not whether to protect geographical indications but how to protect them. U.S. trademark system provides for the registration of certification marks, including indications of regional origin. The following are all examples of GIs protected in the U.S. under the trademark system : - Parmigiano-Reggiano - Roquefort - Parma Ham - Stilton


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