- Created on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:27
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The global body in charge of patents, trademarks, copyright and GI protection, has praised Sri Lanka’s global branding efforts. And Sri Lanka appears to have two more potential global brands in addition to Tea and Cinnamon.
“International branding is the way to go. Sri Lanka is taking the right approach and the importance given by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has really put Sri Lanka the on the right track. I am very pleased of the way you are doing your global product branding efforts” revealed Switzerland based Matthijs Geuze, Head of the International Appellations of Origin Registry, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 31 July. Geuze was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 31 July at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Colombo.
“We had meetings with stakeholders of tea and cinnamon sectors of Sri Lanka on 30 July who are seeking protection for their products by using Pure Ceylon Tea and Pure Ceylon Cinnamon. Some of them are facing some difficulties in export markets for protecting their brands. We are here to assist as to how to solve these remaining issues. It is good news that Sri Lanka has secured the Geographical Indicator protection for Pure Ceylon Tea and EU trade mark rights for Pure Ceylon Cinnamon” Mr. Geuze said.
Since Trademark protection is not as powerful as Geographical Indicator (GI) protection, Sri Lanka should strive next for GI protection of Pure Ceylon Cinnamon. In Trademark Protection, the product in question is certified to possess certain qualities. Interestingly, in our meetings with Sri Lankan stakeholders, we found two more Sri Lankan products that could possibly have the potential for Sri Lankan GI-they are the Sri Lankan cashew-nuts and black pepper. It is too early to say that they will receive protection but there is potential. We need to do a study these products first” Geuze said.
Addressing Geuze, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishak Bathiudeen said: “Sri Lanka thanks WIPO for their support to secure important protections for our own products in the global market. In a climate of increasing global competition due to re-emerging recession, WIPO’s support enables us to achieve competitive advantage and stay ahead among international competitors.
I also wish to say that Cinnamon export companies in Sri Lanka have obtained HACCP certificate for their processing centres to conform their produce to international food safety regulations, he said.