TRANDAFIR COMPETITION WINNER: Australia Corked Its Champagne and So Should We: Enforcing Stricter Protection for Semi-Generic Wines in the United States Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2012 Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems
Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems

TRANDAFIR COMPETITION WINNER: Australia Corked Its Champagne and So Should We: Enforcing Stricter Protection for Semi-Generic Wines in the United States

Summer, 2012

Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems

21 Transnat'l L. & Contemp. Probs. 477

Author

Lindsey A. Zahn*

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
Some commentators say World War I was a war over Champagne: the Germans and the French battled for control over the Champagne region of France spawning countless casualties, but the eminent, eponymous sparkling wine survived the unprecedented conflict and became even more popular in the war's aftermath. 1 The war itself may be long over, but the international dispute continues over the legal right to use the term "Champagne" on wine products. 2 Accordingly, in the context of international trade and consumerism, one of the most significant legal problems of the international wine industry is non-European winemakers' use of long-established European names to label wines that do not originate in Europe. 3 In September 2010, the disparity between non-European and European winemakers gained additional attention when Australia ratified an agreement that enforces stricter legal protection of European wines and prohibits Australian wine producers from using semi-generic names originating in the European Union ("EU"), including Champagne. 4 Although federal laws regulate the intellectual property ("IP") of wines, the United States presently does not provide adequate legal protection for semi-generic wine product names originating in the EU. 5

Geographical indications ("GIs"), 6 a type of intellectual property right, are distinctive signs 7 that identify a product based on the geographical territory or region 8 where the product originates. Consumers may therefore associate GIs with a certain quality 9 or discrete reputation due to the product's geographical origin or practices and customs followed in that geographical ...
 
 
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