Article 22 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights defines Geographical Indications (GI). However, GI claims are increasingly contentious. Given the significance of trade barriers which can arise from unjustified GI claims, the article argues that legitimacy of GI claims must turn on whether objective evidence exists to the effect that Article 22(1) criteria are met. This article tests certain elements of the EU ‘Prosecco’ GI claim – that its qualities and characteristics are essentially attributable to the relevant location – against Italian production specifications to determine whether they provide evidentiary justification for the GI claim. This reveals evidence of absence of consistent qualities or characteristics in ‘Prosecco’ wine. The article additionally examines evidence explaining why this is so. The consequence of this conclusion is that the EU ‘Prosecco’ GI claim must rest solely upon the concept of ‘reputation’ for its legitimacy. Moreover, the approach taken by this article can be utilized to test the legitimacy of any GI claim so far as it relates to quality and characteristics.
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
- Geographical Indications
- Wine Geographical Indications