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Rights on wine names

Published:  23 July, 2008

Port, Sherry and Champagne producers are bitterly disappointed that the recently announced and much-trumpeted wine-trade agreement between the United States and the European Union fails to protect their appellations fully. And on the basis that the European Commission has failed to negotiate a complete ban on the ongoing abuse of such names in the USA, they are seeking financial support from the EU in the new US campaign that's about to start and seeks to put an end to such fraudulent practices.

The IVDP's statement

In a statement issued in reaction to the EU/US Wine Accord, the interprofessional council of the Instituto dos Vinhos de Douro e Porto said that, although it was 'aware of the importance of concluding the wine agreement with the United States, we are very concerned with the draft agreement that has been presented. It does not assure the protection of the Port appellation of origin in the US market. This protection,

as well as that of Champagne and Sherry, is left to a second round of the negotiations. Port is Europe's oldest historical appellation of origin, and hundreds of years of history must not be damaged by a bilateral agreement with the US.

'Port is the appellation of origin that will suffer the worst consequences of this Wine Accord, as well as the continuous infringement of intellectual property and erosion of the economic value of these appellations. For many years we

have fought, with our limited funds, against the fraudulent and abusive misuse of our appellation in the USA, insisting that this is the original and only source of Port. The signing

of this agreement condemns us to increase the level of investment to battle against the continued infringement of intellectual property and fraudulent use by the USA of the Port appellation.

'It is only correct that the EU Commission that has negotiated the accord should assist Port, as well as Champagne and Sherry, by providing funding under the EU Commission programme to combat fraud and defend intellectual-property rights. The prestige and fame of the historic Port appellation of origin must be defended by Europe on a worldwide basis, and we request, and expect, your commitment to assist us.'