US Lobby Group Fights China’s Inclusion Of Generic Food Names In EU GI Deal 28/08/2017 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)China and the European Union appear to be on track to complete a deal on geographical indications that could include protection of some 100 products each from the EU and China. Comments have been received on the proposed list and are undergoing translation. Among them, a United States lobby group said the list for China to protect unfairly includes several generic food names that should not belong solely to the EU. A June release by the EU said, “The EU and China agreed today [2 June] to formally publish a list of two hundred European and Chinese geographical indications -100 from each side- that will be considered for protection through a bilateral agreement to be concluded in 2017.” Interested parties were given two months to comment on the proposed agreement. An EU source told Intellectual Property Watch this week that the comment period closed on 3 August, and EU and China have respectively exchanged the oppositions received. They are waiting to see the translations in order to judge the legitimacy of the oppositions. Once the translations are complete, the comments will be shared with member states and concerned GI producers to build the case against the oppositions received. One such comment with oppositions was circulated by a US industry group, the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN). They said they opposed some names relating to common meats and cheeses, and also said they support objections filed by the US Wine Institute. “These generic terms are not new names or products in China or around the world, and there is no reason their names should belong solely to the EU. The EU must not be permitted to monopolize these names to unfairly eliminate competition,” Jaime Castaneda, CCFN executive director, said in the statement. “We know from market research that many of the common name products at issue here, which are produced in many countries, have been sold in China and referenced in restaurant offerings for years.” “In its review of the list of geographical indications (GIs) under consideration, CCFN objected to the inclusion of the common names “feta”, “asiago” and “gorgonzola”, and also urged clear protections for generic terms at risk of being restricted by compound GI names, including “parmesan” from Parmigiano Reggiano, “mozzarella” in Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, “prosciutto” in Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Danielle, “grana” in Grana Padano, “romano” in Pecorino Romano, and “cheddar” in West Country Farmhouse Cheddar,” the group said. “CCFN does not object to the protection of legitimate GI compound names such as “Prosciutto di Parma” but stressed that China must clarify that generic terms within such names – such as “prosciutto” – remain free for all to use,” it said. “In some past EU agreements with other nations this has not been clear, resulting in confusion and unfair market restrictions.” “In other cases, countries have opted to provide such clarity, to the benefit of all involved in maintaining a variety of supply source options throughout the value chain,” the group added. Image Credits: CCFN Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."US Lobby Group Fights China’s Inclusion Of Generic Food Names In EU GI Deal" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.