“Members’ Voice”: GI recognition for “Isan Indigenous Thai Silk Yarn” in Vietnam, by Fabrice Mattei, Thailand and Myanmar Country Manager, Rouse
“Isan Indigenous Thai Silk Yarn” is a unique textile art in terms of elaboration process giving the silk fabric a texture which is smooth, even, soft and shiny. This process relies on Isan people’s silk reeling skills, which have been passed on from generation to generation. Likewise, the Silkworms must be farmed in the Isan region and must be of authentic Thai species, which are polyvoltine and resistant to the dry and hot climate of Isan region. The characteristics of the silk yarn are thick, rough, knotty, even in size, clean, unadulterated, darker yellow color and even in color.
The Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture and the Department of Intellectual Property of Thailand (DIP) appointed Rouse Thailand and Rouse Vietnam offices to draft the request and file the registration as a Geographical Indication (GI) for “Isan Indigenous Thai Silk Yarn” in Vietnam. The request was filed on August 1st 2013 under the number 6-2013-00001. On September 18, 2014, “Isan Indigenous Thai Silk Yarn” was recognized by the National Office of Industrial Property of Vietnam (NOIP) under registration number 00042.
“Isan Indigenous Thai Silk Yarn” is the first Thai GI to obtain protection in Vietnam. We are proud of this achievement in which we were able to assist the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture and DIP in securing recognition abroad for one of the most important Thai bio-resource.
OHIM: “Champagne” vs “Champagnotèque”, another interesting decision concerning GIs
Recently, the 4-year dispute opposing the appellation of origin “Champagne” and the figurative Community Trade Mark Application (CTMA) “Champagnotèque” came to an end.
The case started in 2010, when the figurative CTMA “Champagnotèque” was filed at the Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) for products of class 33 covering “wine with the designation of origin “Champagne” and services in classes 35, 41 and 43 exclusively related to the sale and promotion of “wine with the designation of origin Champagne”. The “Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC)”- the inter-professional body in charge of the designation of origin “Champagne”- opposed the registration based on Article 8(4) of Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark (sign used in the course of trade of more than mere local significance, in particular the appellation d’origine “CHAMPAGNE”).
In 2013, the OHIM upheld the opposition of CIVC rejecting the CTMA “Champagnotèque” for all goods and services referred (OPPOSITION n° B 1 805 079 ), even though the goods were restricted exclusively to Champagne and the services exclusively to the sales and promotion of Champagne. The decision of the OHIM was based on the fact that “Champagnotèque” was visually, phonetically and conceptually similar to “Champagne” and the appellation d’origine “CHAMPAGNE” was vested an exceptional reputation.
The applicant filed an appeal but subsequently the CTM application was withdrawn and the OHIM closed the procedure (DECISION of 10 July 2014 R 1413/2013-5 ).
oriGIn: Lisbon GI Revision A Hot Topic As Members Prepare For Treaty Talks
Intellectual Property Watch (IP-Watch) covered the event on the reform of the Lisbon Agreement on the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration that oriGIn, in cooperation with the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) of Portugal and the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations, organised in Geneva on 24 September at the occasion of the WIPO General Assembly.
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