Labelling and legitimate intellectual property rights
adopted en 2009
1. Intellectual property rights are a fundamental part of the assets of natural and legal persons.
2. As for the wine industry, current laws and regulations often require the use of its members’ packaging and labelling for the publication of health warnings, which can have the effect of reducing the packaging and labelling space available for the use by the industry members.
3. The AIDV notes the proposed introduction of new measures in labelling and commercial communications (such as limiting the use of intellectual property rights or plain packaging laws) that could apply to many industries, including amongst others, food, wine and other alcoholic beverages sectors, , which could directly and substantially affect the intellectual property rights of members of those industries.
4. The AIDV notes the risk for the wine industry of eventually being affected in the future by similar proposals to those currently facing other industries, which proposals could result in the prohibition of using any graphical elements of trade marks, and which could effectively constitute the prevention of the use of figurative trade marks, thus depriving the members of that industry of their intellectual property rights.
5. Consumers´ rights to information mean, on the one hand, not only access to health warnings on labels, but also on the other hand, access to other items that influence consumers´ choice, including symbols, commercial or trading names, trade marks, copyright rights, geographical indications, designs and trade dress or health claims.
6. Where labelling proposals are made without sufficient evidence of necessity or consumer needs and without regard to the legitimate intellectual property rights of the members of the industries affected, the AIDV cannot support and opposes such proposals.
7. Equally AIDV expresses its reservations and concerns where the proposals have not considered other means of providing information to consumers by new technologies that can be used to gain access to such information that they may need about the products to be purchased. Thus, as an alternative to extreme proposals, the AIDV recommends that other means of providing information to consumers should first be considered, developed and evaluated.
8. The AIDV does not support the introduction of unnecessary or extreme regulations depriving owners of intellectual property rights of their exclusive rights on the basis that, amongst other considerations, it would be in breach of the provisions of various international treaty obligations, including TRIPS as well as the Paris Convention.
9. The AIDV emphasises that a deprivation of intellectual property rights would be equivalent to a partial (or in some cases total) expropriation of property. Thus, although the AIDV opposes any such deprivation, should it occur, the AIDV emphasises that adequate and proper compensation should be paid. The AIDV strongly supports the proposition that the fundamental nature of intellectual property rights must be respected in the pursuance of public policy.