Geographical Indications: I Say 'Kalamata', the EU Says 'Black Olive' (B)
Posted: 22 Jul 2009
Date Written: May 18, 2009
In April 2005, Alexandra was the owner of an Australian farm that produced olives, including Kalamata table olives. Alexandra had invested in the expansion of her farm in anticipation of the evolution of her market from domestic trade in Australia to international export. There was, however, a disruptive dispute before a WTO tribunal between Australia and the EU regarding the protection of Geographical Indications, which identify a product's origins and are treated as trademarks in some respects by international trade rules. Though Alexandra prepared her Kalamata olives in the traditional Kalamata technique, her use of the regionally specific name was threatened by the intellectual property rights provided by GIs. The case focuses on what should be the legal outcome of the WTO dispute, as well as possible business strategies by Alexandra in the event of an adverse outcome to Australia.
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