The Protection of Geographical Indications

The Protection of Geographical Indications

Law and Practice

Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series

Michael Blakeney

Geographical indications, or marks designating a product’s place of origin, are of huge economic value, and the laws designed to police and protect such designations are increasingly important and under scrutiny. This book is one of the first to offer a comprehensive and detailed examination of the European laws concerning the protection of geographical indications, and the application of those laws. Systematic attention is paid to the categories of geographical indication, including chapters on agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines, and spirits. Consideration is also given to enforcement mechanisms and the influence of the relevant provisions of the TRIPS agreement.

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

Michael Blakeney

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law, law -professional, intellectual property law

Extract

A study undertaken for the European Commission by Chever et al (2012 at 4) and published in October 2012 estimated the worldwide sales value of products sold under geographical indications (GIs) registered in the EU was estimated at €54.3 billion in 2010 and had increased by 12 per cent between 2005 and 2010. Over that period wines accounted for 56 per cent of total sales (€30.4 billion), agricultural products and foodstuffs for 29 per cent (€15.8 billion), spirit drinks for 15 per cent (€8.1 billion) and aromatised wines for 0.1 per cent (€31.3 million). Domestic EU sales were the main markets for these products (60 per cent), intra-EU trade accounted for 20 per cent and extra-EU trade accounted for 19 per cent. Over the period, extra-EU trade increased by 29 per cent. The leading Member State was France (€20.9 billion including 75 per cent for wines, 15 per cent for agricultural products and foodstuffs and 10 per cent for spirits), the second was Italy with a balance between the GIs registered in the different schemes (€11.8 billion including 51 per cent for agricultural products and foodstuffs, 48 per cent for wines and 1 per cent for spirits). The next two Member States were Germany (€5.7 billion including 59 per cent for agricultural products and foodstuffs, 40 per cent for wines and 1 per cent for spirits) and the United Kingdom (€5.5 billion including 81 per cent for spirits and 19 per cent for agricultural products and foodstuffs). This valuable trade is worth protecting and this book examines the detail of that protection.