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April 11, 2003

WTO: Pressure grows for geographical indications register

Political pressure is rising on negotiators at the WTO tasked with striking a deal over a geographical indication register for traditionally made wines and spirits.

Political pressure is rising on negotiators at the WTO tasked with striking a deal over a geographical indication register for traditionally made wines and spirits.


WTO members have long debated the issue and have not bridged the gap between countries such as the US, which want a powerless register for guidance on protected terms, and the EU and its allies, which want registration to grant compulsory worldwide protection.


Talks chairperson Eui-yong Chung, of South Korea, is to release a draft proposal by the end of April, which could be debated, agreed or rejected at a special session of the WTO TRIPs (trade related aspects of intellectual property rights) council on July 2-3. The aim is to strike a deal by September’s WTO summit, in Cancun, Mexico.

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