The Protection of Geographical Indications
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The Protection of Geographical Indications

Law and Practice

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.
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Michael Blakeney


European legislation regulating the designations for wines and spirits dates back to 1970. That Regulation 817/70 and its successors – Council Regulations 338/79, 823/87, 1493/1999 and Commission Regulation 1607/2000 – laid down the rules and standards for ‘quality wine produced in specified regions’. Commission Regulations 2133/74, 2392/89, 01/1990, 881/98 and 753/2002 deal with the use of geographical names for wines. As part of the implementation of Agenda 2000 a new common market organisation for wine was established by Regulation 1493/1999 on the common organisation of the market in wine. This applied to fresh grapes other than table grapes, grape juice and musts, wine of fresh grapes (including sparkling wines, liqueur wines and semi-sparkling wines), wine vinegar, piquette, wine lees and grape marc. Regulation 1493/1999 distinguished two categories of wines: quality wines produced in specific regions, so-called quality wines psr (produced in specific regions), and table wines. The recognition and control of quality wines psr was left with each Member State. Some, eg Germany, Luxembourg and Austria, classified almost all their wines in the quality wine category, whereas Spain, Italy and France have both table wines with indications of origin and quality wines produced in specified regions. Some wine labelling rules were included in Directive 2000/13/EC of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs. Commission Regulation 753/2002 of 29 April 2002 on the description, designation and protection of certain wine sector products added more specific rules for the labelling of wine.

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