08/03/2023-Member’s Voice: Strengthening of the cooperation between Georgia and the Republic of Moldova in the field of GIs, by Mariam Kepulaze, Head of Trademarks and GIs Second Division, National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia – SAKPATENTI

The Bilateral Agreement on Mutual Recognition and Protection of Geographical Indications between the Republic of Moldova And Georgia was signed on February 1, 2023 in Tbilisi.

The signing of the document will pave the way for cooperation between our countries to ensure an effective mechanism of protection and enforcement of rights deriving from Geographical Indications.

Famous Georgian candle-shaped sweet, made from nuts and grape juice “Churchkhela”, wine “Kindzmarauli”, spirit drink “Chacha” made of grape pomace, and dozens of other well-known Georgian Geographical Indications will enjoy special protection on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. On the basis of the Agreement, the Republic of Moldova undertakes the obligation to ensure the protection of goods having the status of Georgian Geographical Indications against any misuse or imitation, including any use which is likely to mislead the public as to the true origin of goods. On the other hand, ten products with the status of Geographical Indications of the Republic of Moldova, among which are the famous “Divin”, a Moldovan alcoholic drink made from the wine spirit, and “Codru”, delicious wine, will be protected in Georgia after fulfilling the internal procedures, including examination and publication in the Special Bulletin for public discussion.

The signing of the agreement will ensure the intensification of cooperation between the partners and will establish an effective instrument for the mutual protection of Geographical Indications. In the framework of the agreement, a subcommittee will be established, composed of representatives of contracting parties, which will act as a decision-making body ensuring the proper functioning of the Agreement.

Georgia is a country rich in agricultural products and a tradition of its production. Our country is characterized by diverse agro-climatic conditions. Georgia is distinguished by its rich cuisine, which differs from region to region, and its ancient wine-making history. In this regard, it needs to be emphasized that Georgia is recognized for well-known Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, especially for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wines, and spirits. Hence, the protection of Georgian Geographical Indications abroad acquires crucial importance, especially in the strategic markets, defined as countries where Georgia has considerable export potential.

In this regard, the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia – Sakpatenti, as the authorized body to protect and enforce rights on Georgian Geographical Indications abroad, highlights that it had signed similar agreements with the Swiss Confederation and Ukraine. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Georgian Geographical indications are protected under the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union signed in 2014 on the territory of the EU member states and under the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Georgia and the United Kingdom. Moreover, Sakpatenti has made considerable efforts to register Georgian Geographical indications with direct filing in several countries, such as the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Armenia, the Russian Federation, etc. Georgia has also registered Appellations of Origin as certification marks in the USA.

As is well known, the protection of Geographical indications helps to create new jobs in the respective regions and has beneficial effects related to revenue growth; increases the awareness of the region and promotes the development of agro-tourism; making the village, the region, and the whole country attractive for investment. In conclusion, let me highlight again that the protection of Geographical indications is one of the main priorities for the two small European countries with great traditions.

For more information on bilateral and multilateral Agreements covering GIs, you can consult the dedicated section of the oriGIn website.

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