IP and Entertainment Law Committee session, International Bar Association Annual Conference

“Geographical Indications – Champagne from New York? Mon Dieu, quelle horreur”,Moderator

September 21st, 2016 – Washington D.C., U.S.A.

The protection and status of geographical indications (GIs) is a key business issue for marketing and positioning of products, particularly in the food and beverages sector.

The session presented the perspective from the family proprietor of the well-known Castello Banfi vineyard in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy and co-CEO of Banfi Vintners, a leading US importer of wines into the US, who spoke on the issues with a particular emphasis on the GI Brunello di Montalcino.

Sam Heitner, Director of the Champagne Bureau in the USA, outlined the position of the Comité Champagne and the initiatives the Bureau pursues to ensure that all know that ‘Champagne only comes from Champagne’.

A representative of a major Chilean beverages company, Compañía Cervecerías Unidas, addressed the issues from the perspective of a producer of new world wines and the creation of new GIs.

The panel also comprised an outside counsel from India who addressed the issues from the perspective of emerging economies in the developing world and major issues generally encountered as well as outside counsel from the UK summarising developments in Europe together with a few short case studies.