Carl Kanowsky | Russia, Champagne and the Battle over Geographical Indications | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker

Excerpt from the headline: “The FBI says a Russian hacker responsible for cyber attacks on fuel pipelines” — ABC News, May 11, 2021. “A Russian group has claimed responsibility for a pipeline ransomware attack” — MSNBC, May 10, 2021. “Russian Hackers Responsible for Cyber ​​Attacks” — Sky News, July 5, 2021.

What does Russia’s attempt to disrupt the Western economy have to do with the pillars of wine? Now, here’s another headline, “Russia confuses France with the new champagne law” — CNBC News, July 9, 2021.

No one knows if this is intentional, but Russia seems to be working hard to confuse as many countries as possible. Ransomware attack on US pipeline company. According to Microsoft, more than 150 organizations around the world have been the target of Russian attacks. Hacking against the Ukrainian Navy. And now I’m chasing the venerable king of sparkling wine.

As you can see, there are certain names and phrases that are internationally recognized for their location, reputation and quality. More than 120 countries have signed the World Trade Organization’s 1994 Agreement (TRIPS) on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. The treaty identifies specific trade names and marks that need protection. Like trademarks, geographical indications (“GI”) are a form of intellectual property.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office defines GI as “a label that identifies a product as being derived from the member’s territory or region or region within that territory, where the particular quality, reputation, or other of the product. The traits are essentially due to the region. Geographical origin. “In other words, GI references trigger a particular product in the consumer’s mind.

Examples of registered or established GIs include Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Palmaham from the Parma region of Italy, Tuscan olive oil from Tuscany, Rockfall cheese, champagne from the region of the same name in France, Irish whiskey, Darjeeling tea and Florida. Includes orange. , Idaho Potato, Vidalia Onion, Washington State Apple, Napa Valley Wine.

As you may know, wine makers around the world produce sparkling wine. Some people make wine, Method Champagne Noises, in the same way as a champagne house. A classic example of a good California maker of sparkling wine is Napa’s Shramsburg. Hugh Davis, a Schlumsburg winemaker, follows the same rigorous and rigorous process as the people of Dom Pérignon, performing secondary fermentation in bottles. The result is a bottle of sparkling wine that rivals the finest champagne.

Taittinger is French champagne and Schramsberg is Napa’s sparkling wine.Photo courtesy of Karl Kanovsky

However, thanks to TRIPS, the wine is named Sparkling instead of Champagne because it respects the tradition and history of Champagne.

And Hugh is not alone. Most winemakers, and even most countries, follow the edict that the term “champagne” belongs only to that particular region of northeastern France. Apparently Russia has decided to go against this trend.

New Russian law allows Russian producers of sparkling wine to use “champagne scoe” (Russian for champagne) in their bottles. Sounds suspicious like champagne. Then, to insult the injury, according to CNBC, the same law requires French champagne producers to add the word “sparkling wine” to the back of the label if they want to sell bottles in Russia. I will.

So be prepared for an international debate about what was settled by law and tradition for most people. Who knows — Perhaps Russia has imitated the iconic Russian creations of so many countries creating their own versions of grain-based spirits, calling them “vodka”. I’m hurt by.

Carl Kanowsky is a lawyer, a fledgling bakery, an avid cook and a wine-drinking expert.

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