Increased protection for Australian wine brands

Wine Australia today launched its Export Label Image Search System (ELISS) to help Australian wine producers protect their intellectual property rights.

The development of this online directory for the public has been supported by the Australian Government

$ 50 million regional wine and export support package.

As of today, label images must be provided to Wine Australia before obtaining export approval for packaged products.

Brand owners will be able to search ELISS to identify potential violations of their intellectual property rights, while members of the public overseas will be able to verify whether the Australian wine brands they are purchasing are from Australia.

Australian Grape & Wine, Australia’s leading grape and wine advocacy organization, has identified the need to establish a wine export label directory as a key step in strengthening the protection of Australian wine labels against fraudulent activity .

Rachel Triggs, managing director of corporate affairs and regulation at Wine Australia, said the system would make it easy for consumers and distributors to identify genuine Australian wines, with around 25,000 labels a year expected to be listed on 111 different markets.

“This is something that the industry, through Australian Grape & Wine, has been pushing very hard to introduce and ensure that the protections are legislated. Wine Australia is now working to make this protection a reality.

Ms Triggs said the searchable images would be low-res and watermarked, but they would allow people to establish who exported the wine, when, and the destination market.

“The software we have implemented allows searching using text or images so that potential trademark or copyright violations can be easily identified. This will discourage the production of copycat brands that seek to capitalize on the well-established reputation of Australian wine brands. “

Ms Triggs said changes to the export approval process would be minimal. Wine Australia’s existing export software system, WALAS, had been adapted to make the inclusion of labels an integral part of the export approval, while ELISS derived the labels and export information from WALAS.

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