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New registry to protect names of products with geographical indications like Champagne

New registry to protect names of products with geographical indications like Champagne

(Photo: Pixabay)

SINGAPORE: A new registry has been formed to provide enhanced protection for the names of products with special qualities or reputation due to the geographical origin, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced on Friday (Mar 29).

Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of intellectual property that provides information about a product’s unique characteristics, qualities or reputation attributable to the place it came from.

Examples of GIs are Champagne, from the Champagne region of France and Kampot pepper from the Kampot region in Cambodia.

“Some of the GIs already found in our supermarkets include Pinggu peaches from China, Idaho potatoes from the US, Ichida Gaki (dried persimmon) from Japan, Waiheke Island wine from New Zealand and Champagne wine from France,” IPOS said in its media release, adding that there are close to 60,000 GIs that are protected around the world.

In Singapore, GI protection is currently available for wines and spirits but the establishment of the GI Registry will “extend GI protection to other agricultural products and foodstuff such as cheeses and cured meats”, the agency said.

Once the GIs are registered, producers and traders of the products will be able to request customs authorities to “detain suspected infringing goods which are imported into or exported from Singapore”, it added.

Protection of registered GI products will be implemented in stages in accordance with the ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement that was approved by the European Parliament on Feb 13.

The registry will begin to accept applications from Apr 1 for the registration of GIs "from anywhere in the world", IPOS said.

“Applications will undergo a fair and transparent examination process,” IPOS said.

“With the establishment of the GI Registry, consumers can look forward to a broader range of good quality wines, spirits and agricultural products on our food shelves and dining establishments,” it added.

Source: CNA/na


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