On the 6th of July, the Ministry of Commerce and Consumers Affairs of New Zealand launched a “Consultation on proposed regulations and fees for Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits)” under the Registration Act 2006 (currently being amended in Parliament). The proposed regulations will set out the procedure for examination and registration of GIs as well as the process for setting up the Register of Geographical Indications, which will be administered by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). Interested parties can make submissions on the proposed regulations until 29 July 2016. See the Consultation documents
In terms of GIs recognition in India, in June “Uttarakhand tejpatta” (sweet bay leaf) obtained the GI recognition. “Uttarakhand tejpatta” is a popular spice (Cinnamomum tamala) used extensively in the hilly cuisine. It is grown in the State of Uttarakhand, in the northern part of India crossed by Himalaya, mainly in the districts of Nainital, Chamoli, Tehri, Bageshwar, Almora, Pithoragarh, and Champawat at a height of 1,000 to 2,200 metres. Besides being used in cooking, tejpatta finds a place in ayurvedic and herbal medicinal preparations. Meanwhile, other seven GIs were granted: Beed Custard Apple, Jalna Sweet Oranges, Jalgaon Bharit Brinjal, Waigaon Turmeric, Solapur Pomegranate, Purandar Fig, Sangli Raisins. The total number of GIs recognised in India is now 240. More information @ http://ipindiaservices.gov.in/GirPublic/DetailsGIR.aspx
In June, the number of African members of oriGIn keeps growing, with the recent adhesions of the three new GIs from Morocco: the “Coopérative Agricole TASKALA” representing the GI “Datte bouittoub Tata”, the “Association Clementine de Berkane” and the “Organisme de gestion de l’AOP Safran de Taliouine”. This was possible thanks to the support of an existing associate member, the “Office Marocain de la Propriété Industrielle et Commerciale (OMPIC)”. In this context of increasing GIs interest in Africa, oriGIn is exploring the possibility to open a regional office in Africa, and discussions are underway with the OMPIC to have it headquartered in Casablanca.
In terms of GIs recognition in Africa, following the positive conclusion in 2014 of the first phase of the “Projet d’appui à la mise en place des indications géographiques dans ses Etats membres” (PAMPIG), which led to the recognition of 3 GIs (Miel d’Oku, poivre de Penja et café Ziama Macenta), the African Intellectual property Organisation (OAPI) recently launched a new project’s phase. The objective is to support African producers to take full advantage of the local GI potential. More information (in French) @ PAMPIG II
In the field of bilateral agreements touching upon GIs, in June the EU and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The agreement contains an annex on GIs (Annex I to Protocol 3), which applies to South Africa and to the EU, but it is open to the other SADC EPA States. It provides provisions on solid GIs protection (including enforcement mechanisms) as well as a non-exhaustive list of GIs to be protected in both parties’ jurisdiction (page 324 @ http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/october/tradoc_153915.pdf ). After the ratification of the Agreement, South African GIs such as Karoo meat, Rooibos tea, Paarl (wine) and Stellenbosch (wine) will be protected in the EU.
On 26 June, a member of oriGIn from the Dominican Republic – “Café de Valdesia” – was recognised in the EU as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Congratulations to the “Consejo Regulador Café de Valdesia” for this important achievement! “Café de Valdesia” is Arabica coffee of the Typica and Caturra varieties, which is grown in the main coffee-growing areas in the provinces of Ocoa, Peravia and San Cristóbal in the Dominican Republic. The coffee-berry production area is located between 600 metres and 1.300 metres above sea level. The bean size and average sucrose and caffeine content is higher than that of coffees produced elsewhere in the country. More information @ http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/door/registeredName.html?denominationId=10800&locale=en
Meanwhile, in North America, two associate members of oriGIn – the « Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité » (INAO) of France and the « Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants » (CARTV) of Quebec (Canada) have signed a cooperation agreement on GIs. This Agreement promotes the exchange of experiences on GI protection, in particular through a warning mechanism in case of infringements on both sides of the Atlantic. More information (in French) @ http://www.inao.gouv.fr/Nos-actualites/L-INAO-et-le-CARTV-Quebec-renforcent-leur-collaboration-autour-des-Indications-Geographiques