Geographical Indications to be Revisited
The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 due to commence nearly 10-years after being assented...
The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 was assented to on 21st November 2006, but has yet to commence by way of an Order in Council. However, the Government has now indicated that it will revisit the Act this year with a view to commencing it in 2016.
The present (uncommenced) Act itself replaced the uncommenced Geographical Indications Act 1994, which was to apply to a wider range of goods than wines and spirits. In the interim some protection for geographical indications is available via the Fair Trading Act 1986, the tort of passing off and various provisions of the Trade Marks Act 2002.
Upon commencement interested parties can apply to register the name and boundaries of a Geographical Indication (GI) as well as whether it relates to wine, spirits or both and any conditions relating to use of the GI. Foreign GIs can also be registered, but do not have a boundary specification requirement. There are provisions for the alteration of a registered geographical indication, or the conditions or boundaries relating to it, either by the Registrar or on the application of an interested person.
Apart from the conditions relating to use specified for a registered GI, there are also standard conditions. For wine, use of a New Zealand based registered GI requires that at least 85% of the wine is produced from grapes harvested in the relevant region. For spirits, there is the lesser requirement that the product originates in the relevant region.