Geographical Indications (GI) and Denominations of Origin (DO) moving forward by fostering respect thereto
In the last months, there have been important legal decisions comprising GI&DO in different Latin-American countries. Some of these decisions involved only the registration of GI&DO and others also touched the interaction between them and trademark rights (Tms) that included a geographical term that was or could have been protected by a GI&DO
Tm application: CHAMPAGNE FOR ROOM and design in class 43
This Tm application was rejected through Resolutions 1404-2010/CSD – 1600-2010/CSD on the basis of the following arguments:
- CHAMPAGNE is a geographical indication (French region) protected in Peru for wines and spirits, through Andean Community Decision 486 art. 135.K, reading signs that contain protected geographical indications for wines and spirits shall not be registered as marks…
- Geographical indications are registered at WIPO and protected by the Lisbon Agreement, of which Peru is a member.
- Another expressions mentioned in this Resolution as examples of protected denominations of origin are COGNAC and BOURGOGNE
Five (5) beverages have been recognized as denominations of origin in connection with the industry of wines and spirits: cognac, sherry, champagne, mescal and tequila.
Honduras has considered the word TEQUILA as a denomination of origin, being this product a distilled liquid originating from the city of same name (TEQUILA), in Jalisco, Mexico.
The Honduran IP Law defines a denomination of origin as follows a geographical indication constituted by the denomination of a determined country, of a region or a place used to distinguish a product that is originated therein, which characteristics are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment in which it is produced, including natural and human factors also, it is considered as a denomination of origin, a sign constituted by a denomination that without being related to a determined country, region or place , it refers to a geographical place when its used in connection with products originating from said area.
chili (hot pepper) protected as denomination of origin
After a hard lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court of Justice, it was finally declared that chile habanero de la pensinsula de Yucatan (translation: habanero chili of Yucatan peninsula) must be protected as denomination of origin.
The conflict had arisen since originally, it was published that chile habanero de Yucatan (without the word PENINSULA) was to be considered a denomination of origin. The governors of the States of Quintana Roo and Campeche in Mexico filed a lawsuit based on constitutional controversy, since with that publication, the States of Quintana Roo and Campeche were disregarded as places where the product at issue (chili…) is also produced.
Therefore, after reaching an agreement all parties involved in this trial, it was decided that the denomination of origin to be protected is chile habanero de la pensinsula de Yucatan, demonstrating that it is the same product (chili) originating from the whole Yucatan peninsula (formed by the three Mexican states: Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche).
It is clear then that denominations of origin are becoming more relevant each day and private parties as well as National Authorities tend to be more aware of the importance of their protection as well as of the eventual conflicts with TMs that may arise.