Consultation on Draft Geographical Indications Regulations
Feedback has been requested on draft regulations that would finally bring the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Act 2006 into force...
Following on from the late 2015 amendment Bill, a draft version of the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Regulations has been released for public consultation, with feedback being required by 29th July 2016. The final version of the regulations will be made available at least 28 days before the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Act 2006 enters into force.
The regulations are largely modelled on the Trade Marks Regulations due to similar subject matter and procedures as well as cost considerations, given that less than 100 applications are expected to be received in the first 10 years.
However, the information requirements are more onerous than for trade marks. The regulations split the required information into that which has to be supplied at filing and that which must be supplied before acceptance. In both cases there are differences in the requirements for New Zealand and foreign geographical indications. All information is to be supplied electronically.
The common minimum filing requirements are:
- a statement of the basis on which the applicant claims to be an interested person:
- the geographical indication the applicant is applying to register:
- whether the geographical indication relates to a wine or a spirit:
- a description of any proposed conditions on the use of the geographical indication (in New Zealand).
For New Zealand geographical indications the minimum filing requirements further require:
- details of the boundaries of the territory, region, or locality to which the geographical indication relates, including a written description and map of the boundaries:
- an explanation of the given quality, or reputation, or other characteristic that is essentially attributable to the territory, region, or locality defined by the boundaries:
- evidence regarding the given quality, or reputation, or other characteristic described in paragraph (e):
For foreign geographical indications the minimum filing requirements further require:
- the country of origin in which the foreign geographical indication is protected:
- a statement that the foreign geographical indication is protected in its country of origin and has not fallen into disuse in that country:
- if the application is for registration of a translation of a foreign geographical indication, a translation of the foreign words in the geographical indication:
- if the application is for registration of a transliteration of a foreign geographical indication, a transliteration of the foreign characters in the geographical indication:
- the registration number of the foreign geographical indication (if any):
- a copy of the regulations, rules, or other documents that specify the protection given to the foreign geographical indication in its country of origin (including any conditions on the use of the foreign geographical indication).
Before acceptance both New Zealand and foreign geographical indication applicants must supply any other information requested by the Registrar. In the case of New Zealand geographical indication applications this specifically includes:
- a description of the history of the founding and development of the area for the growing of grapes for wine or the production of spirits:
- a description of the history relating to use of a word or expression to indicate the area as a geographical indication:
- whether the geographical indication is a place name that has been approved by the New Zealand Geographic Board as an official geographic name for a geographic feature within the area described in the application:
if the geographical indication is not a place name that has been approved by the New Zealand Geographic Board as an official geographic name for a geographic feature within the area described in the application,—
(i) information about whether the geographical indication is of cultural significance to the local community, including Māori; and
(ii) what steps have been taken by the applicant to ensure that use of the geographical indication is not offensive to a significant section of that community:
a description of the degree of discreteness and homogeneity of the geographical indication in respect of the following attributes:
(i) the geological formation of the area:
(ii) the degree to which the climate of the area is uniform, having regard to the temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, rainfall, number of hours of sunshine, and any other weather conditions experienced in the area throughout the year:
(iii) whether part or all of the area is within a natural drainage basin:
(iv) if the geographical indication relates to a wine, the availability of water from an irrigation scheme:
(v) the elevation of the area:
(vi) any relevant traditional divisions within the area:
There is no set time period in which an application needs to be in order for acceptance. Applicants get a minimum of 6 months for replying to the initial notice of non-compliance, with further time periods made available for responding to subsequent notices. The applicant is allowed one extension of time if requested within 2-months of the due date provided the outstanding issue is simultaneously remedied. There are also provisions relating to advertisement, opposition, registration, renewal, restoration, removal, alteration and hearings.
Despite the low number of applications expected it is proposed that the establishment and maintenance of the register is to be self funding with no subsidies. After the initial surge of applications, renewal fees will assist with on-going funding. Several options are proposed for renewals with differing fee structures. While the Bill had an ongoing 10-year renewal term, it is proposed that this be replaced by an initial term of 5-years and ongoing 10-year renewal terms thereafter, i.e. renewals would be due on 5th, 15th, 25th etc years from the date of registration.