“Cognac” registered as a collective trade mark in China
« Cognac » is now registered as a collective trade mark in China, representing an extra legal protection for the Cognac appellation, which was recognised as a Geographical Indication in this country more than 10 years ago. This new step in the protection of Cognac GI will allow Cognac brands and the branch to fight together and more efficiently against counterfeits or usurpations.
The Cognac branch better protected against imitations and usurpations.
The registration of the « Cognac » collective trade mark reinforces the existing protection of GI Cognac and represents an extra regulatory basis, allowing the appropriate Chinese authorities to intervene more efficiently in case of counterfeits.
Moreover, the Cognac inter-branch and brands will be able to fight together in order to be more effective when facing counterfeits that usurp the Cognac designation and the brands’ name and products in China.
Chinese administrations and the Cognac branch have been cooperating for more than ten years and this collaboration is at the core of the business relationship between Cognac and China. “This new legal tool to defend the brands’ rights will be extremely important to increase our level of protection”, says Edouard de Kervenoaël, legal director of the Cognac appellation.
10 years of recognition as a Geographical Indication
The Cognac designation has been protected in China since December 18, 2009, when Cognac became the first foreign GI to be recognised in China by the AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine). This registration offered back then an exceptional level of protection for foreign GI products, paving the way for numerous recognitions of other products afterwards. This registration guaranteed that only the wine spirits produced in the Cognac delimited area and in compliance with regulated production specifications, could use the term “Cognac” in French and Chinese in China.
In 2019, the EU and China concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU against imitations and usurpation for wine, spirits and food products.
China is today the second market for Cognac export with 35.5 million bottles imported in 2019.
The BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac) represents, fosters and protects the Cognac Appellation d’Origine Conrôlée in France and abroad. In the 150 countries where Cognac is sold, this AOC assures consumers of a product of exceptional quality. With a membership that equally represents the agricultural and commercial interests of Cognac, the BNIC is the consultative and decision-making body for the 4,280 growers, 120 distillers and 280 négociants of the Cognac Appellation.
BNIC acts in the service of the interests of those who make and consume cognac, upholding the Appellation’s responsibilities and standards in regard to the public. The Cognac production area, delimited by the Controlled Appellation of Origin designation, covers more than 78,000 hectares of vineyard, in the South-West of France. The Cognac brand is the first export industry, in terms of value, in the French wine and spirit experts with a turnover in August 2019 of 3.4 billion euros.