Welcome to our blog for Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Latin America!
¡Bienvenidos a nuestro blog de Derecho y Práctica de la Propiedad Intelectual en Latinoamérica!
Bem-vindo ao nosso blog sobre Direito e Prática de Propriedade Intelectual na América Latina!

Friday 10 July 2020

Patricia Covarrubia

Colombia: smell [successful] coffee

    No comments:

SIC, the Colombian IPO office recently published a short graphic noting Colombian's coffees that have successfully been registered as Denominations of Origin.

Every morning, before I even brush my teeth, I enjoy an espresso. I not only enjoy the taste, but the smell of fresh coffee is very pleasant. I am use to strong coffee, (being Venezuelan with an Italian husband) and actually, I was raised in a farm that on my teenager years was just harvesting coffee beans – what a wonderful time (except the mosquito bites).

I am, by nature please to see how farmers and their respective associations try to protect their products and with it, their farms, their people, their family. I do also understand (as academic and researcher) that no everything is gold at the end of the rainbow when we discuss Geographical Indications. However, just the fact that farmers unite for a common aim, for me, it is a successful goal. Sharing good practices and feeling part of a community is extremely important. In this regard, I see the value of the product as it is explained by the Lisbon Agreement when referring to appellation of origin – a human factor.

SIC explain DO as ‘a sign that is directly related to the community and in which associativity plays a role of special importance’ – I could not agree more. Colombian DOs are defined in Decision 486, which is the Andean Community legislation (equivalent to ‘Regulation’ in EU law) and nationally, under Resolution No 57530. The spirit and the wording of the texts are similar to the one noted as Appellation of Origin under the Lisbon Agreement because they include the natural factors of the region focusing on human factors such as traditional knowledge and methods of elaboration.

Up to today, Colombia has registered as Denomination of Origin SEVEN coffees. And please, if you are taking notes, it is Colombia (country), no Columbia (US state). [I was so heart broken when I saw the final publication of a chapter in a book that I was involved with, that the editorial decided to change Colombia for Columbia !! (that is another story to tell you later)]. Anyways, all started with ‘Café de Colombia’ (2005) which was the first DO in Colombia itself but also the first foreign DO registered in the EU (what an achievement). This opened the door to other farmers that saw the benefits. In 2011, TWO coffees were granted DO: ‘Café de Nariño’ and ‘Café de Cauca’; [I wrote a chapter in a book (not the one that edited Colombia) covering a case study on Café de Narino and a company that wanted to registered as a trade mark such name in Spain [published online by Inter-America Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI)]. In 2013, ‘Café de Huila’ and 2014, ‘Café de Santander’ successfully registered their DOs. The last TWO were granted on the same date, 30 January 2017 to ‘Café de Tolima’ and ‘Café de Sierra Nevada’.

Way to go Colombia!
The graphic can be seen here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia