Italy! Home of some of the finest cuisine and produce in the world. 

Exporting everything from pasta to olive oil, meats, wine and cheese, there is no doubt that Italy is rich in culinary delights, including some that are protected by their unique Geographic Indication. 

“Food, drink and agricultural products with a geographical connection or that are made using traditional methods can be registered and protected as intellectual property. This protection is called a geographical indication (GI). 

GI protection guarantees a product’s characteristics or reputation, authenticity and origin. It protects the product name from misuse or imitation.” 

The Intellectual Property rights to one of those delights is under attack by the Slovenian government. The Italian government has launched infringement proceedings against Slovenia, in an attempt to defend their famed balsamic vinegar. 

The Italian president, Mario Draghi, has given the go-ahead for state attorneys to begin legal proceedings to prevent Slovenia from “standardising” the way it names it’s vinegar. Slovenia intends to label all wine vinegar mixes and concentrates produced in the country, “balsamic vinegar”, a move that the Italian government believes will harm the reputation of their aceto balsamico di Modena. 

Balsamic vinegar made in the Modena and Emilia-Romagna regions are held to very exacting standards of production and are known to be of the highest quality. The market for the product is worth a hefty €1bn, so defending their corner of the market is an understandable concern. 

It is interesting to look at how geographical location can affect the marketability of a product. In this instance, it is the specific region of production that geographically protects Italy’s product. 

For more information on GI, the UKIPO provides some useful information on how to apply for UK GI protection.

 

 

At Scintilla, we help innovative companies get a grip on their intellectual property. Our unique commercial approach combines registration of patents and trade marks with strategic input so that IP can be a springboard for business growth. If you would like to discuss your IP needs, do contact us or book a free initial consultation!