Everyone should have the right to use common names in marketing well-known, favorite foods.
But that right is under threat. We oppose attempts to monopolize generic names, and seek to foster the adoption of an appropriate, international model for protecting both legitimate geographical indications (GIs) and generic food names.
The United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has granted observer status to the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), an important step forward in CCFN’s ability to ensure balanced dialogue in the development of fair geographical indications (GI) policies that safeguard common names side-by-side with GI protections, to the benefit of consumers worldwide. The […]Read More »
Australian wine producers and enthusiasts are balking at the European Union’s (EU) attempt to include “Prosecco” in its list of more than 1,500 product names it wants exclusive rights to under its $100 billion bilateral trade agreement with Australia.Read More »
As anticipated, 2019 continues to be a busy year for CCFN in defense and education in the area of generic names. CCFN has filed 13 new opposition this year to preserve common names, most which are still pending. Here are some details on work conducted so far this year.Read More »
CCFN continues its steady engagement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), most recently related to the structure and process surrounding the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (2015), which may have a significant impact on how geographical indications (GI) are vetted and registered in multiple nations.Read More »
CCFN recently engaged with the U.S. Congress and Administration in relation to House and Senate hearings that included the topic of GIs. In those hearings, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer touted the GI elements within the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In China, CCFN filed comments regarding the GI Foreign Product Protection Measure to stress that China must safeguard common names as new GIs are registered. We also filed supplementary arguments in ongoing efforts to oppose trademarks that would include “cheddar” and “emmental”, as well as oppositions against two trademark applications that would impact use of the term “bologna”.
In Vietnam, as a result of CCFN’s work in challenging local trademark applications, disclaimers were included in the filing so that the generic terms “cheddar” and “mozzarella” will not be monopolized.
In Taiwan-Hong Kong: CCFN worked through the International Trademark Association (INTA) to submit comments to inform the dialogue regarding GIs in a Taiwan-Hong Kong free trade agreement with EU.
In Latin America CCFN is conducting ongoing legal efforts to safeguard such terms as parmesan, cheddar, edam, asiago and gorgonzola by opposing overly broad trademark applications, as well as Italian industry groups and EU efforts to confiscate terms through a nation’s trademark system.
In Australia, New Zealand, Russia and South Africa, CCFN has worked this year to safeguard asiago, gorgonzola, provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, feta and other generic cheese names by filing oppositions to trademark applications, collaborating on submissions as part of that nation’s trade negotiations with the EU, or requesting disclaimers to trademark applications so that the generic terms are preserved.