Enough wine, time to dine: agricultural and non-agricultural indications of geographical origin in the context of a European Union and New Zealand free trade agreement. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree NameMaster of European Union Studies
New Zealand has continuously rejected upgrading its sui generis system of protection for geographical indications, or indications of geographical origin (IGO). This is a type of product that contains unique characteristics and qualities essentially due to its geographical environment. In the context of a free trade deal with the European Union (EU), New Zealand must apply protection to agricultural IGOs beyond the current regime that only protects wine and spirits. This is called TRIPS- plus protection, and is a conditionality in all recently conducted free trade agreements with the EU. The inception of this intellectual property right owes to the concept of terroir, whose evolution in meaning has opened up participation to agricultural and non-agricultural products under a sui generis system of protection. National and international systems of IGO protection are analysed to provide a reference for New Zealand. The key topics of contention are discussed in relation to the various systems and EU FTAs. The topics focus on; IGOs and trade marks, IGOs and unfair competition, IGOs and genericity; and non-agricultural products as a future IGO right. IGOs are a great tool for assisting rural development, preserving cultural traditions, upholding standards and reputations of quality products etc. In spite of this, it is not advantageous for New Zealand to upgrade its current framework, and by doing so it mostly satisfies EU interests at the expense of New Zealand’s market share in agricultural goods.
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