Georgian wines will be protected within EU
16 September, 2010
Georgian wines will be protected within EU

Appellations of Georgian Wine Origin, a special edition aimed to protect wines as intellectual property of Georgia within EU zone is issued and planned to be distributed among all Georgian embassies and Diasporas abroad.

That way, Georgian wines will be protected from fake imitations within EU zone. Registration of Appellations of Origins of Georgian Wine [a special edition issued by National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (NIPCG) largely known as Geopatent] including 18 Georgian wines, will take effect starting January

of 2011 in EU.


The publication [circulated on September 9, 2010] is a part of Georgia-EU agreement on protection/certification of intellectual property, negotiated this year and aimed to protect geographic marks of food and agriculture product of both Georgiana and EU. 
Over 70% of European assets come on intellectual property including geographic marks and brands as well as national cultural heritage. And European countries get huge profits from their intellectual property. Georgia has not calculated its intellectual property as yet, but most probably, key assets of Georgia as of an ancient agricultural country with its history dating back to the antiquity, also consists of intellectual property rather than material things. And protection of this property is of urgent importance as far as famous Georgian brands of wine, mineral water, or other food products and even cultural heritage are frequently misappropriated, specifically within the post-soviet space including Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe. However, counterfeits became more frequent in Germany lately. The increased volume of immigrants creates a demand for it.  And since Georgia has not certified its rights over intellectual property beyond its borders up to date, protection of its intellectual assets is much complicated and sometimes too late.

For example, Saperavi, an ancient sort of Georgian grape, is farmed for many years  not only within the zone of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Armenia for instance, but even in far away Australia and many other countries, Irakli Ghvaladze, Head of  Geopatent - explained to Georgian Journal. And to claim that Saperavi as a Georgian brand is almost impossible now. The only achievement Georgia can hope for, is to make the international community to acknowledge Saperavi as a Georgian species, and indicate it on the bottled Saperavi next to the producer country. 
Ghvaladze assures that protection of Georgian brands would be much easier if they were registered in EU.

Agreement with EU on the Protection of Agricultural Products and Other Foodstuffs can help to this end. The agreement envisages granting protection in Georgia to agricultural products and other foodstuffs, protected in the EU, and the list of geographical indications of agricultural products and other foodstuffs, protected in the European Union. EU foodstuff indication list that must be protected in Georgia includes 3 thousand names. Georgian list of geographic indication that must be observed in EU includes juts 18 names of  Georgina wine origins as following: Khvanchkara, Mukuzani, Tsinandali, Akhasheni, Gurjaani, Kindzmarauli, Manavi, Kakheti, Napareuli, Teliani, Ateni, Sviri, Vazisubani, Kardenakhi, Tibaani, Tvishi, Kvareli, and Kotekhi.
The appellations of 18 Georgian wines  includes disription of climate, soil, scientific paper-work  respective to the registered places of origins of famous Georgian wines as well as species of grapes harvested there.  The publication is English-language and planned to be distributed among all Georgian embassies, representations and diasporas within EU. Geopatent also plans to issue the questioned publication on other languages to make it more popular. 
“It will enter into effect starting January 1st, 2011 and nobody can use the wine names [registered in the publication] except Georgian companies,” Ghvaladze elaborates. “…And if any of these names are misused proper organs will protect them via legal means. EU legislation will insure execution of protection of the registered wines. EU customs will not allow in any suspected product, but if anybody manages to sell any faked wine they will be fined, but nobody will be able to sell our wines legally, the state will sue the culprit company in this case.”

But it is not the whole story. Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia (MOA) in cooperation with Geopatent  works on preparation of much larger list of geographic marks including all possible names of national foodstuff like different sorts of cheese, sausage, drinks, species of grapes, cattle, sheep etc. Georgian sheep became quite popular lately and it is important to protect it as soon as possible, Ghvaladze stressed. According to Georgian-EU agreement on protection intellectual property Georgia has a right to enlarge the list of protected goods and trademarks gradually as much as there is no full list of Georgian intellectual property and creation of it takes plenty of time and energy.
To guarantee better intellectual rights protection Geopatent plans close cooperation with patent offices of key export markets of Georgia including Ukraine [that is the largest market for Georgian export after losing Russian market in 2006,] as well as Kazakhstan and Belarus, because after creation of free customs zone with Russia [that prohibited Georgian wine and mineral water, as well as agriculture product] increase chances of Georgian wine and mineral water fake in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“Once we quit CIS space we work now on conclusion of similar agreements on protection of  intellectual property with each CIS country separately,” Ghvaladze elaborates. “In Yalta for example irrespective it produces wine, Georgian wine, food, songs and restaurants generally are very popular.  And the sorrowful thing I saw is that wines lag behind standards there.”

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