19 August 2021 News

Zito P., Current and future protection of Geographical Indications in Australia, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 16, Issue 4-5, April-May 2021, Pages 348–356

This article discusses the current position in Australia regarding the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) at both the national and international level. It explains the current difference in the protection offered at the national level to Australian regional names used on wine labels vis-à-vis on food labels. It explains that, at the national level, Australia has had a dedicated wine GI framework since 1994 that regulates the usage of regional names on wines labels, in the form of GIs. However, up until now, Australia has relied on consumer protection, trade mark and passing off laws to protect the value that exists in regional names that are used on food labels to make an origin claim. Furthermore, this article explains that, at an international level, Australia complies with its international obligations to provide a protection mechanism for GIs by protecting international GIs for wines or grape products pursuant to its dedicated wine GI framework, while protecting international GIs for all other products as certification trade marks (CTMs).
This article discusses that there is a strong case for the implementation of a dedicated food GI framework in Australia at the national level and this is particularly given the current negotiations between Australia and the EU in relation to the Australia–European Union Free Trade Agreement (A-EUFTA).