Australia’s wine industry will be better protected from copycat exporters with the development of a new Wine Label Intellectual Property Directory.
In launching the directory, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said it would bring greater transparency to exported labels to prevent dodgy copies.
“Copycat export wines mimic Australian brands by copying our labels,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This rips off our producers and it also ruins the reputation of our wine when customers expect a quality Australian wine and receive a cheap knock-off.
“This directory will help protect Australian wine by identifying potential copycat labels.
“The publicly accessible directory will require all Australian wine exporters to submit images of their labels prior to gaining export certification.
“It will be searchable by image elements, brand name and publication date and will display the trademarked image of labels, the exporter ABN, brand name and date the label was published to the directory.
“This allows wine growers and exporters to identify copycat labels. Copycats can be stripped of their export licence and those being copied could also take private legal action.
“There are significant punishments for those who breach the law and the directory will help ensure copycats are held accountable.
“The Federal Coalition Government invested $417,000 to create the directory and its ongoing administration will be funded by industry.
“It is part of our $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package as we continue to help the Australian wine industry reach its full potential.”
The announcement was welcomed by Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated, with CEO Tony Battaglene saying it would further strengthen Australia’s already robust arrangements for wine exports, and bolster our reputation with consumers in international markets.
“This announcement will help Australian wine businesses of all sizes to protect their brands and intellectual property from those who seek to rip it off,” Battaglene said.
“Australia’s reputation as an exporter of premium wines has not happened by accident. Over many years, Australia’s wine export approval arrangements have given customers confidence in the knowledge that the contents of a bottle matches the claims about vintage, variety and region on the wine label.
“In the coming months we will work closely with Government as regulatory changes are implemented to support the Label Register.”