Common Food Names (GIs) hinder Heartland producer exports

July 3, 2017 – The Consortium for Common Names today reported that current geographical indications (GI) policies are often woefully lacking in safeguards for common food and beverage names, creating an increasingly disruptive situation in global trade that unfairly favors some producers over others; but an equitable approach is wholly achievable.

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To uphold both IP safeguards and their trade commitments, nations should refuse to register as GIs any names that have become part of the public domain. Rather they should encourage compound term GIs as a default while clearly preserving use of the common element (such as by protecting “Greek Feta” rather than “feta” or “Parmigiano Reggiano” but not “parmesan”).

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