Geographical indications

Geographical indications

A geographical indication is a sign used on wines and spirits from a specific geographical location which possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic linked to that location.

  • Reinforces value of wines and spirits
  • Costs $5,000 to register
  • Takes a minimum of 6 months to acquire
  • Lasts 5 years before first renewal

Getting started

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that come from a particular geographical location and which possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic linked to that location.

In New Zealand, GIs can be registered for local and international wines and spirits.

GIs help “brand” a product and differentiate it from other products in the market. They assure consumers that the product is authentic and has specific characteristics due to its origin.

Typically a GI is the place name from which the product originates. For example, the name Champagne properly refers to sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region in France.

Unlike most other intellectual property rights, GIs are collective rights – there is no “owner” as such, as there is with a trade mark. Any trader who complies with the provisions governing the use of the GI (including any registration conditions) is entitled to use it.

Managing GIs

Once you’ve applied to register a geographical indication (GI), the application will be examined in accordance with the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 and its Regulations . Applicants should hear from us within 3 months.

If the GI meets the criteria of the Act and regulations, you’ll receive a notice of acceptance and the GI will be advertised in the Journal.

The registration of a GI is effective for 5 years from the deemed date of registration. After the first 5 years, it can be renewed for further periods of 10 years.

A person may oppose the application for registration within 3 months of the advertised acceptance.

If no opposition is raised we’ll register the GI, not less than 6 months after the application filing date (this timeframe allows for the small possibility of a trade mark application identical or similar to the GI being filed and claiming convention priority).

If opposition is raised to the registration of a GI, the IPONZ Hearings Office will administer the proceeding.