On October 27-28, “Branding Strategies”, the conference organized by the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (SAKPATENTI) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was held at the Biltmore Hotel, Tbilisi. The Conference aimed at introducing possibility of application of geographical indications to increase export potential of products produced and grown by Georgian producers and farmers.

The conference was attended by representatives of the state and private sector, international organizations, all regional administrations of the Ministry of Agriculture, LEPL National wine agency of Georgia, the France’s National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), and IP Centers of Hungary and Poland. The meeting was opened by Ms. Binying Wang, Deputy Director General of WIPO.

Protection of geographical indications is an integral part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the European Union and Georgia. 20 geographical indications (such as SULGUNI, CHURCHKHELA, CHACHA etc.) and 26 appellations of origin (wines MUKUZANI, KINDZMARAULI, KHVANCHKARA etc., mineral waters BORJOMI, NABEGHLAVI etc.) have already been registered in Georgia. Furthermore, in excess of 100 products, such as Tkemali, Rachan Ham, Kharagauli Caesar’s Mushroom, Choporti Tomato etc., have been identified as goods potentially eligible for protection by geographical indications. A part of the products was exhibited after the conference.

The Conference ended by the ceremony of signing a license agreement between “oriGIn”, the non-governmental organization for an International Geographical Indications Network, and “Origin Georgia”, the organization being responsible for study of geographical indications, providing their inventory, establishing their specifications and ensuring their legal protection. The agreement is expected to render assistance to farmers and producers in branding, marketing, management issues and in establishing international contacts.