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WTO Public Symposium The TRIPS Agreement Ten Years Later: The Relationship Between Trademarks and GIs Presentation by Clay Hough Senior Vice President and General Counsel International Dairy Foods Association April 22, 2005. What is the International Dairy Foods Association?.

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WTO Public Symposium

The TRIPS Agreement Ten Years Later:

The Relationship Between Trademarks and GIsPresentation by

Clay Hough

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

International Dairy Foods Association

April 22, 2005

what is the international dairy foods association
What is the International Dairy Foods Association?
  • IDFA is the U.S. dairy processors collective voice in Washington, D.C., throughout the country and in the international arena.
  • Members range from large multinational corporations to single plant operations, and represent more than 85% of the total volume of milk, cultured products, cheese, and ice cream and frozen desserts produced in the United States.
  • IDFA members market approximately 80 percent of the cheese products sold in the United States.
extending protection of geographic indications gis
Extending protection of Geographic Indications (GIs)

IDFA is concerned about:

  • Extension of protection of GIs.
  • Restriction of terms (“claw back”) that are in some cases deemed generic for foods.
  • The establishment of a multilateral register for wines and spirits and possible implications for food products.
eu s wish list
EU’s Wish List

In September 2003, during the Fifth Ministerial

meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the EU presented

a list of the following GIs to the WTO:

  • Asiago
  • Feta
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Grana Padano
  • Manchego
  • Mozzarella di Bufala Campagna
  • Parmiggiano Reggiano
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Reblochon
  • Roquefort
why are gis a concern
Why are GIs a concern ?
  • The current EU internal GI system protects:

- 2,100 types of wines and spirits

- 600 foods, including 149 cheeses

- 63 meat-based products

- 16 types of table olives

the problem with the eu gi system
The Problem with the EU GI System ?
  • The current EU’s GI system:

- inhibits U.S. feta and parmesan manufacturers to export their cheese to EU.

  • In Europe, Kraft cannot sell “Parmesan” instead it sells “Pamesello.”
a faulty eu gi system
A faulty EU GI System
  • The EU has problems enforcing its own GI system:
    • Germany is Europe's leading producer of Parmesan after Italy.
    • The largest producer of Feta is not a Greek company. The Danes manufacture most of the Feta in the EU.
  • Imagine enforcing and monitoring the use of GI terms.
why are gis a concern8
Why are GIs a Concern?
  • Restrict use of commonly known product names in domestic market.
  • Result is reduced choice and consumer confusion as known products are withdrawn from the market.
  • Impact on exports to other WTO Member countries.
why are gis a concern9
Why are GIs a concern?

If WTO Members accept the GI registration

system:

- IDFA members companies would lose

access to established product names.

- Consumers would have to be convinced that

the “new” product is the same quality as the

cheese that they have been buying for decades.

  • Millions of dollars in packaging costs and

marketing to preserve and regain sales.

generic cheeses
Generic cheeses
  • IDFA members companies are some of the World’s largest producers of Mozzarella and Parmesan.
  • Leprino started manufacturing Mozzarella in 1950.
  • Kraft has been producing and marketing: - Parmesan cheese for more than six decades, and

- Feta cheese for twenty years.

potential gi impact on idfa members
Potential GI ImpactOn IDFA Members

Cheese # of Companies

-Asiago 24

- Blue Cheese/Gorgonzola 22

- Cream Cheese/Neufchatel 29

- Feta 29

- Fontina 12

- Harvati 19

- Mascarpone 8

- Mozzarella 72

- Parmesan 43

- Provolone 39

- Romano 27

- Swiss/Emmental 34

potential gi impact
Potential GI impact

In 2002, the U.S. cheese industry was valued

$13.7 billion (at wholesale).

The amount of cheese produced in U.S. in 2003:

  • 2.806 billion lbs of Mozzarella
  • 676 million lbs of Cream Cheese/Neufchatel
  • 283 million lbs of Provolone
  • 264 million lbs of Swiss (Emmental)
  • 127 million lbs of Parmesan
gi solution
GI solution
  • Key question is not whether to protect geographical indications but how to protect them.
  • U.S. trademark system provides for the registration of “certification marks, including indications of “regional origin.”
  • The following are all examples of GIs protected in the U.S. under the trademark system :

- Parmigiano-Reggiano

- Roquefort

- Parma Ham

- Stilton

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