Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chile's project: promoting, protecting and boosting traditional products

Through the ‘Sello de Origen’ program the Chilean presented to the legal representative of the Sociedad Agrícola Punucapa SA, producers of Cider. With the certification of a Denomination of Origin (DO) to ‘Sidra de Punucapa’. The successful application was the result of a collective effort to “recognize, distinguish and protect this traditional low alcohol drink, based on apple juice, whose history goes back to the middle of 1800.”

Sidra de Puncapa is totally handmade, and it is said to be derived from the traditions of the place. This, added to the “climate of the area, with humid oceanic characteristics with low thermal oscillation and considerable rainfall, allow to obtain a unique product that has led to its recognition.”

Looking at these characteristics one can see why this fall under DO and not just a geographical indication. The Chilean Industrial Property Law defines a Geographical Indication as aimed to “identify a product as originating in the country or region or locality in the country, when its quality, reputation or another property is fundamentally attributable to its geographical origin.” From here you can notice that the Sidra de Puncapa is not just a locality where the product is produced and manufactured and that it has a reputation but it goes farther than these factors. Following then the definition of DO under the Chilean Industrial Property Law we see that DOs “identify a product as originating in the country or region or locality in the country, when its quality, reputation or another property is fundamentally attributable to its geographical origin, also considering other natural and human factors that affect the product’s properties.” We therefore understand that Sidra de Puncapa has other special characteristics that are essentially due to the geographical environment in which they are produced. It bears a qualitative and stronger connection between the product and the place of origin which is determined by a set of natural factors (climate), and by a set of human factors (know-how such as in this case the traditional knowledge).

The Chilean Ministry of Economy together with the Chilean Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial (INAPI) launched the program ‘Sello de Origen’. The project aims to promote traditional products through the grant of Geographical Indication (GI), denomination of Origin (DO), Collective Trade Marks and/or Certification Marks.

Source INAPI. More information about GIs in Chile here. There is also a Factsheet specifically focused on the Chilean system to protect Geographical Indications produced by the Latin America IPR SMEs Helpdesk here.

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