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.
Ron Buholzer, Klondike Cheese
“It’s outrageous that anyone would claim to have sole ownership of these names. This is an economic issue for us, certainly, but it’s also personal – it’s about what’s right and fair.” Read more…
Fostering Workable GI Guidelines
“Our ultimate goal is to foster the adoption of model GI guidelines throughout the world, which we think is achievable and can be workable for specialty producers.”
Congressional leaders overseeing trade and intellectual property issues today sent a letter to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) expressing “serious concern” about the lack of participation in a fast-moving process to adopt sweeping revisions to a global system for registering protected food names, or geographical indications (GIs). The Consortium for […]Read More »
(Brussels, Belgium) The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), an active member of the international Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), today briefed U.S. and EU negotiators on deep-set concerns with the EU’s current approach to protections for geographical indications (GIs). The presentation was made during the stakeholder briefings here in conjunction with this week’s U.S.-EU […]Read More »
The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) is voicing its objections to a plan by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to allow approval of a controversial intellectual property (IP) agreement to take place behind closed doors, without the full participation by all WIPO members who may be impacted by the decision. CCFN is urging WIPO members to protest in advance of – and during – a critical meeting this month, and to request that all WIPO members be permitted to participate fully in an upcoming diplomatic conference.
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WIPO Members Warned of Unintended Consequences to International Food Trade in Advance of Meeting this Month…
Representatives of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) were in Geneva last week for the 2014 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly Meeting, voicing concern about current proposals to expand the Lisbon Agreement, an international system for geographical indications (GIs) that threatens to severely impede the global use of common names for many cheeses, meats, beverages and other foods.Read More »
South Africa appears to be bypassing intellectual property evaluation to allow a substantial list of GIs protection within South Africa as part of the nation’s economic partnership agreement with the EU, concluded July 22. The list includes such common names as “feta”, “asiago”, “fontina” and “gorgonzola”. CCFN sent a letter to South African Ambassador Rasool expressing concern about the agreement.Read More »
Many commonly used names for American cheeses have deep roots in European history, but American cheesemakers have contribut[ed] greatly to their popularity around the world.
— The American Cheese Society
CCFN and Others Call for Open Door on Lisbon Agreement within World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Despite objections by more than a dozen nations, including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the U.S. and others, the Lisbon Agreement committee has decided for now to proceed with its current rules for a diplomatic conference next spring that would not allow for full and equal participation by all WIPO members regarding the ratification of expansions to the Lisbon Agreement GI scheme. Read more
Straight to the Source (the EU): CCFN and government officials from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand are meeting with the Danes in Brussels in early December to present objections to the Danes’ Havarti GI application. Read more
Several Key Nations Working on GI Regulations and Applications – CCFN is working in key areas to battle current restrictions or weigh in on developing GI policies: Read more
Support and Successes
Statements We Loved in 2014 – We heard some great statements in the media and in public discourse this year in support of generic food names. Read more
And this…Los Angeles Times Talks Wine and Cheese – A Los Angeles Times feature in October, “Stew over European food names complicates trade talks”, featured CCFN member Sartori Foods: “The Europeans are scared because there are a lot of U.S. companies that are making great cheese,” said Sartori President Jeff Schwager. Read more
CCFN Presents During T-TIP Stakeholders Forum – During this fall’s seventh round of U.S.-EU talks on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), CCFN had the opportunity to brief U.S. and EU negotiators on the protection of common food names. Read more