Georgia Introduces Stronger Intellectual Property Protection
04 April, 2012

Georgia has completed the first stage of registration of appellations of origin of Georgian wines in the United States of America. On the other hand, agreement on mutual protection of geographical indication of agricultural products and other foodstuff between Georgia and the EU entered into effect on April 1st, 2012.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has already issued titles of protection in the name of Georgia for 12 appellations of Georgian wines out of 18 submitted. These are:

“Khvanchkara”, “Kindzmarauli”, “Tsinandali”, “Akhasheni”, “Qvareli”, “Manavi”, “Teliani”, “Gurjaani”, “Kakhuri”, “Mukuzani”, “Tvishi”, “Vazisubani”. The registration process for the remaining 6 appellations will be completed in the near future. By the registration, the state of Georgia acquires an exclusive right to determine the persons authorized to use appellations of origin of Georgian wines on the territory of USA and to prohibit the facts of illegal use of appellations. In connection with these issues, the delegation of Sakpatenti, headed by its Chairman Irakli Ghvaladze, during the visit in the USA, also had a meeting at the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

On the other hand two-year long legal procedures started in 2010 and related with the agreement on protection/certification of Georgian geographic marks of food and agriculture product with the EU is through and the agreement became effective starting this April.

The agreement envisages granting protection in Georgia to agricultural products and other foodstuffs protected in the EU, and vice versa-Georgian product will be protected in Europe. The EU foodstuff indication list that must be observed in Georgia includes more than 3 thousand names including Champaign, Cognac, and Bordeaux etc. Georgian list to the EU is of much moderate size at the moment including just 18 appellations of origins of Georgian wine [Ateni, Akhasheni, Tsinandali, Gurjaani, Kardenakhi, Kakheti, Kotekhi, Kvareli, Manavi, Mukuzani, Napareuli, Kindzmarauli, Sviri, Tibaani, Teliani, Tvishi, Khvanchkara, Vazisubani].

After inactivation of the agreement Georgia will have full legal ground to prevent any misuse of the enlisted geographical indications in the EU that will protect Georgian product from falsification and facilitate to keep high quality image at the export markets, Irakli Ghvaladze, Head of Sakpatenti, National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia, said.

The agreement envisages enlargement of the protected names that is of crucial importance to Georgia that still has not completed registration of all geographical indications and appellations of origins of national assets and local trademarks to be protected. Appellations of origins registered lately in Georgia will be handed to the EU in compliance with the standard procedures in coming months. The list includes 14 sorts of dairy products including cheese, Chrurchkhela [national sweet candies made of grape juice and nuts], Chacha [Georgian vodka made of grape pomace] as well as three mineral waters [Borjomi, Nabeghlavi and Sairme].