Geographical indication protection in South Africa with particular reference to wines and the EU connection
Van der Merwe, Andries
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Based on the international legal framework as established by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the author discusses the approach to GI protection under South African law. While South Africa has not introduced a registration system with regard to GIs, it relies, amongst other approaches, on common law approaches to defending GIs. The author further explains that certain GIs that are now protected under the EU registration regime have long been used in the South African trade environment, to the effect of having become generic. It is against this background that the author argues that in light of the strong negotiating position of the EU, the Europeans, when negotiating the free trade agreement with South Africa, in fact coerced South African negotiators into accepting the terms of the EU with regard to certain GIs. The author concludes that it may be useful for jurisdictions like South Africa to associate with other New World economies to ensure a better bargaining position during negotiations, except where such negotiations deal with purely localized issues.
- Faculty of Law