NZ wine industry wins trademark battle

The New Zealand wine industry has won a four-year battle to prevent an Australian supermarket giant from trademarking the name South Island.

9690678According to a report in the Australian press.co.uk, Woolworths supermarket had applied to register a trademark wine label in New Zealand in 2009 using the name South Island and carrying an image of a mountain.

The New Zealand Winegrowers Association (NZWA) said the mark would give Woolworths an effective “monopoly” on the South Island name being used on wine bottle labels.

For four years the NZWA battled the application in defence of southern winegrowers.

Recently it was awarded more than $3,000 in costs by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) who ruled in its favour.

The IPO said the Woolworths image was not distinctive enough to be trademarked and that a logo dominated by the words “South Island” could cause confusion for consumers.

Speaking to The Press, NZWA general counsel John Barker said: “We didn’t have any option but to defend it.”

“It draws a line in the sand.”

The NZWA argued that trademarking a geographical region would have a negative effect on an industry in which consumers rely on knowing the origin of wines.

For example South Island Pinot Noirs, are recognised as different from their North Island counterparts.

Geographical Indicators (GI) are used in many areas to ensure products are authenticated to have originated from a particular origin with well-known systems in place in Champagne and Bordeaux in France and Rioja in Spain.

In 2006 draft legislation to introduce a similar system in New Zealand was discussed, but was never finalised.

It would make it harder to trademark geographical regions and would mean Marlborough wine would carry a Marlborough GI.

The association is now calling for the Australian Government to finalise the legislation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Wine Sales Consultant

VSF GROUP
Valbonne, South of France, FR

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more