Skip to main content.

Using geographical indications

Once a geographical indication (GI) is registered, it may be used by any producer or trader whose products meet its criteria.

Once a geographical indication (GI) is registered in New Zealand, there are restrictions on its use. These are outlined below.

A person who contravenes any of these restrictions breaches section 9 of the Fair Trading Act 1986, and the provisions of that Act apply accordingly.

Using a New Zealand GI

A person may use a registered New Zealand GI in relation to a:

  • Wine, only if:
    • at least 85% of the wine is obtained from grapes harvested in the place of geographical origin to which the GI relates
    • all of the constituent remainder of the wine (if any) is obtained from grapes harvested in New Zealand, and
    • the GI is used in accordance with its registration in New Zealand.
  • Spirit, only if:
    • the spirit originated in the place of geographical origin to which the GI relates, and
    • the GI is used in accordance with its registration in New Zealand.

Using a foreign GI

A person may use a registered foreign GI in relation to a wine or spirit only if:

  • the wine or spirit originated in the place of geographical origin to which the foreign GI relates, and
  • the foreign GI is used in accordance with:
    • the scope of its protection in its country of origin (including any conditions as to its use), and
    • its registration in New Zealand (including any conditions imposed).

Additional rules relating to restrictions on use

The restrictions on use apply whether or not:

  • the true place of origin of the wine or spirit is indicated
  • the registered GI is used in translation, or
  • the use of the registered GI is accompanied by any of the words “kind”, “type”, “style”, “imitation” (or any similar word or expression).

Exceptions to the rules

The restrictions listed above don’t apply if:

  • The wine or spirit is never in New Zealand, or is in transit only.
  • The wine or spirit was bottled before the registration of the GI.
  • A person or entity has used the term in a continuous manner in trade in relation to a wine or spirit in New Zealand either:
    • in good faith since before 15 April 1994, or
    • for at least 10 years before 15 April 1994.
  • Registered or unregistered trade mark rights pre-date registration of the GI.
  • There has been use (not in bad faith) of a registered GI in an unregistered trade mark for more than 5 years after its adverse use became generally known in New Zealand.
  • An unregistered GI is homonymous with a registered GI.

A trader may also provide the following without “using” a registered GI, as long as this doesn’t mislead the public:

  • their name (or the name of their predecessor in business), or
  • a statement indicating the address where the wine or spirit was produced or bottled.

Translations and transliterations

If a registered GI is in a foreign language, but has a transliteration and/or translation, the GI should be used in the form it was registered. The transliteration and/or translation is required solely for searching the Trade mark and GI Registers.