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Additional Protection For Geographical Indications For Wines And Spirits

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Chapter Summary

The use of geographical indications is particularly common and significant in the case of wines and spirits. This especially "sensitive" area is specifically regulated by Art. 23 of the TRIPS Agreement. The regulation is based on a proposal of the European Convention (EC), being one of the biggest exporters of wine with designations of origin. Art. 23.1 obliges the Members to establish absolute prohibition for the use of false geographical indications with regard to wines and spirits. This means that wines and spirits may carry names and designations containing or consisting of a geographical indication only if they actually originate in the territory identified. Art. 23.1 establishes a comprehensive and absolute protection of wines and spirits, which is restricted only by the general exceptions under Art. 24.4-9. An effective evaluation must therefore consider both provisions together.

Keywords: absolute prohibition; European Convention (EC); protection for geographical indications; spirits; TRIPS Agreement; wines



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