Georgia Secures ‘Cradle of Wine’ Title; Armenia Disagrees
23 August, 2012
Georgia Secures ‘Cradle of Wine’ Title; Armenia Disagrees

Georgia has secured a trademark Cradle of Wine within the EU boundaries. Armenian Wine Union disagrees and plans to challenge the EU decision. 

The EU registered the trademark ‘Cradle of Wine’ to Georgia in July. The registration is valid for 10 years and allots exclusive right to Georgia for export and distribution of ‘Georgia - Cradle of Wine’ branded wines within the EU space.

The registration went through all due legal procedures including the EU expertise and putting the registration announcement public

for three months prior to completion of the registration in order to insure that the thing is legal and nobody has pretentions over it. However, after three-month period expired and the registration was acknowledged valid in July of 2012, the Union of wine-makers of Armenia questioned relevance of the trademark registration in August and plans to challenge the EU soon.

At present the Union of Wine-makers of Armenia is studying the procedure of filing an appeal. According to Avag Harutyunyan, Chairman of Union, not only Georgia can claim the status of “the cradle of wine”, but also the entire Small Asian region including Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Assyria and primarily Armenia.

Prior to registration of the title of first wine-producers to Georgia, British company Cradle of Wine Limited owned “Cradle of wine” trademark from April 9, 2001 to January 26, 2010. When the trademark registration expired Geopatent, National Intellectual Property Protection Body of Georgia, appealed the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market of the EU (OHIM) to register the slogan Cradle of Wine to Georgia believed to be the real cradle of viticulture as archeological materials suggest.

Archaeologists trailed wine-making down to Caucasus and the Middle East with clues of winemaking in different sites dated from 6000 BC in Georgia, 5000 BC in Iran, and 4100 BC in Armenia. But during an extensive gene-mapping project in 2006, archeologists analyzed the heritage of more than 110 modern grape cultivars, and narrowed their origin to Georgia, where wine residues were also discovered on the inner surfaces of 8-thousand-year-old ceramic storage jars.

Georgian scholars even presume that Georgian word Gvino (Wine) gave the origin to “wine” that entered the Indo-European language through Semitic “Wayn”.

Besides, Georgia is known as one of the ancient creators of cultivated varieties of vines.  Out of 2 thousand varieties of grape over 500 grape varieties are of local Georgian origin and over 100 varieties of wild grapes are presented on this small territory of earth.

Armenians had no pretention when the British winery held the Cradle of Wine trademark before. Harutyunyan explains the reason for the different approach is that British winery was a private company while in this case Georgian state secured the trademark.

 

“If Georgian companies did get the trademark we would understand that and think this is a part of business and ordinary commercial war, but when this is done by the state organ that registers brands itself - it is not correct,” he was reported as saying by Business Courier TV show.

According to Irakli Ghvaladze, Head of Geopatent, now when all due registration procedures are through nobody can deprive Georgia of the trademark Cradle of Wine.

“The 10-year validity period does not mean we will lose this trademark after 10 years expire, we will prolong it each time its validity expires,” Ghvaladze told Georgian Journal.

Giorgi Barisashvili, a wine expert at Elcana, a non-governmental bio-product-oriented organization, Georgia is cradle of wine as archeological materials show and the attempt of Armenian wine union is just an adventure aimed to involve other countries in it.

“Other countries obviously have no claims and I wonder since when is Armenia protecting interests and rights of Turkey and Azerbaijan [with these countries Armenia has political tension-GJ]?” Barisashivili said. “In the Communist past Armenia has been actively producing wine “Armenian Wine Sapervai” and “Armenian Wine Rkatsiteli” while both Sapervai and Rkatsitelu are Georgian varietals, but we did not protest it because our grape sorts belong to the world riches, we never minded it and will never mind if anybody uses them.”

 

 

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