Friday, August 20, 2010

U.S.-EU Food Fight Dogs Anti-Counterfeiting Talks

(Reuters – Doug Palmer)

A long-running battle over the right to use European place names, like Parma or Roquefort, for some of the world’s most popular foods and beverages looks to be the toughest remaining issue in international trade talks aimed at reducing copyright and trademark theft.

The 27-nations of the European Union want the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to cover “geographical indicators”, which are names for food and alcoholic products drawn from a particular location, such Champagne or Cognac, both in France.

But U.S. business groups worry that the EU demand would mean American products as commonplace as Kraft parmesan cheese could potentially be treated as illegal items under the pact and subject to seizure by customs officials. Read more here.