Public objections process on EU Geographical Indications
The Intellectual Property Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (the Committee) has made a submission in relation to Prosecco and general principles surrounding consideration of that claim. As required by the relevant Discussion Paper,1 for the purposes of this submission, the Committee refers to the following ground of objection:
The EU GI name is used in Australia as the name of a grape variety, plant variety or an animal breed.
The Committee notes that the Discussion Paper makes various references to the term ‘GI’ in a general sense but that the ground of objection specifically refers to ‘The EU GI’. The recognition of a term as a GI in one jurisdiction does not automatically mean that the term is a GI in another jurisdiction. Registration of Prosecco as a GI in the European Union does not, by that act, make Prosecco a GI in Australia. For example, it is quite possible that the wine called Prosecco does not have any characteristic or quality essentially attributable to the large, geographically and climatically diverse Prosecco DOC region. Similarly, any reputation that the word might have in one place such as the European Union does not necessarily mean that the word has a similar reputation in Australia.
More generally, the Committee notes that, if wine made from a particular grape variety has been promoted and marketed on that basis for some time, a particular reputation or goodwill associated with that grape variety will be formed and shared by all those wine producers who have engaged in promotion and marketing of that wine. Consequently, if Prosecco wine has been promoted and marketed in Australia on the basis that the wine is made of the Prosecco grape variety, all wine producers from all countries where such wine was made and then sold in Australia would share in the reputation or goodwill attributable to the name of the grape variety.
1 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Public Objections Process: EU Wine Geographical Indications, Discussion Paper (2023).