NOTE: SOUR GRAPES: THE COMPROMISING EFFECT OF THE UNITED STATES' FAILURE TO PROTECT FOREIGN GEOGRAPHIC INDICATIONS OF WINES Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2005 Boston College International & Comparative Law Review
Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

NOTE: SOUR GRAPES: THE COMPROMISING EFFECT OF THE UNITED STATES' FAILURE TO PROTECT FOREIGN GEOGRAPHIC INDICATIONS OF WINES

Winter, 2005

28 B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 197

Author

MARK SILVA *

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Many products consumers purchase each day identify themselves by referring to the geographic locations from where they originate. 1 Products that typically incorporate geographic phraseology into their names include such things as cheeses, wines, and even potatoes. 2 This popular practice, known as identifying products by using geographic indications (GIs), is an extremely valuable marketing tool in the present global economy. 3 It allows products to be identified with the quality and reputation of a particular geographic region. 4 Because of the latent value associated with this, countries throughout the world are attempting to negotiate trade agreements that ensure when a GI is used to identify a product, it accurately represents that product's true place of origin. 5

So far, the most significant of these agreements has been the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), which provides protection for GIs generally and protection for GIs of wine in particular. 6

While the United States is a party to the TRIPS Agreement, it has not brought U.S. domestic law into conformity with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, especially with regards to the protection of GIs of wines. 7 The European Union (EU), which was the driving force behind the TRIPS provisions governing GIs, has been stern in its criticism of the United States for its failure to abide by the TRIPS Agreement. 8 The EU's collective discontent merely echoes that of European vintners who have long complained about the use of ...
 
 
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