'Champagne' is first GI to be officially protected


The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) has successfully recorded the first geographical indication (GI) - ‘Champagne’ - in Myanmar under the recordation procedure with the Registry of Deeds and Assurance. The certificate was issued in January 2013 under registration number IV/13428/2012, making ‘Champagne’ the first GI to gain official protection in that country.

This is one of many firsts for the CIVC in ASEAN countries. ‘Champagne’ has also been the first European GI registered in Thailand and Indonesia, and the second in Malaysia.  

The Ministry for Science and Technology of Myanmar has been working on the first comprehensive draft Trademark Law, which includes provisions on the protection of GIs. The draft law provides a mechanism for the registration of GIs. GIs eligible for protection include both local and foreign geographical indications covering not only agricultural products but also handicrafts.

The draft law should be approved by the Parliament in the coming months and could enter into force in July 2013. Until then, GIs can be protected on the basis of their prior use in Myanmar (which is difficult, due to the informal distribution channels for most imported products in that country) or recordation with the Registry of Deeds and Assurance.

Myanmar has been producing wines since the 1950s. The total area under grapes is about 700 hectares (approximately the same as the Alba wine region in Italy). Currently, there are two major wine producers, both located in the Southern Shan States near the Inle Lake: Red Mountain Estate and Myanmar Vineyard.

Fabrice Mattei, Rouse, Thailand

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