FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Geneva, 16 June 2023. Contact: Ms. Ida Puzone firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 14 and 15, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – in cooperation with the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (SAKPATENTI) – organized in Tbilisi the 2023 edition of its Worldwide Symposium on Geographical Indications.
At this occasion, some 1,000 participants from 66 countries gathered in presence and online in representation of some the major public and private GI stakeholders around the world. Among them, several of oriGIn members, such as the “Consejo Regulador del Tequila” (CRT), the “Consorzio formaggio Asiago”, the GI recognized in Georgia under “oriGIn Georgia”, the “Interprofession du Gruyère” and the “Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano”, as well as partners in GI projects, such as the FAO, SAKPATENTI and the “Magister Lvcentinvs”.
The Symposium discussions ranged from branding and marketing strategies to tourism opportunities, from governance issues to international trade, from sustainability to cooperation projects. They confirmed once more that GIs are global phenomenon, an internationally recognized intellectual property right as well as a tremendous tool of territorial development, which captures several of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the ongoing discussion on sustainability. In particular, the upcoming FAO-oriGIn guide on GIs and sustainability – which helps groups navigate emerging societal issues – was mentioned in several occasions during the Symposium, including in the panel on governance. In particular, reference was made to the 13 topics and 89 indicators identified in the FAO-oriGIn guide as innovative tools for measuring the governance performance of groups.
“For the first time, in the context of the WIPO World Symposium on Geographical Indications, an entire discussion panel was dedicated to the marketing and branding of Geographical Indications, starting from the assumption that an effective protection of an intellectual property right is inextricably linked to promotion. Today more than ever, in light of the changed sensitivity of consumers, it is necessary to communicate the traditional elements of origin and territoriality according to new paradigms and with innovative methods”, said Flavio Innocenzi, Director of the Consorzio formaggio Asiago.
Another emerging topic discussed in Tbilisi has been the spill over opportunities GIs can generate in the tourism sector. CRT Representative for Europe and member of oriGIn Board, Fernando Cano Treviño, presented the 17-year transformative journey of the Tequila tourist trail and the role it played in enhancing regional development, economic advancement and social empowerment. Fernando Cano shed light on the collaboration between public and private sector, which fostered a solid governance and sustainability framework. In this respect, the implementation of initiatives, such as the Responsible Environmental Agave (ARA) program, have been mentioned as instrumental to prevent any deforestation in the appellation of origin geographical area.
“The Symposium made it clear that GIs are becoming a matter of public interest, for their potential in terms of local sustainable development and capacity to respond to some of the emerging consumers’ societal demands. On the other hand, groups must still spend enormous amount of time and financial resources in enforcement activities, including the conflict with allegedly generic names. We will continue to work on enforcement activities, with the tools offered by the internationally recognized IP system, based on the territoriality principle, and having the interest of consumers as top priority. At the same time, the Symposium was for oriGIn the opportunity to launch a powerfully message: leveraging from the local specificities, the rebranding of names in conflict with GIs can become an opportunity for the concerned stakeholders. oriGIn and its members are available to provide support and guidance in those efforts”, concluded Riccardo Deserti, President of oriGIn and Director of Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano.