(6 March) The European Union has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) to Thailand's Doi Tung and Doi Chaang coffee brands, official said.
The coffees were the second and third product – after the famed Thai jasmine rice – to be labeled as such in the EU, said Ms. Kullanee Iddisai, Deputy Director-General of Intellectual Property Department.
GI status signifies product’s geographical location or origins, as well as its quality – which is in accordance with traditional methods – and its reputation within its original location.
Ms. Kullanee said that under its GI recognition, Doi Tung and Doi Chaang coffees would be protected from intellectual property violation within the EU.
According to Ms. Kullanee, the department has submitted four products of Thailand for GI recognition since 27 May 2010. Three of them, the two local coffees and the jasmine rice, have been certified so far, while Khao Sang Yhode (a type of Thai rice) is being assessed by the EU, she said.
However, the final approval process is pending consent from other countries, Ms. Kullanee said. If no other country disputes the EU's awarding in the next 3 months, Doi Tung and Doi Chaang coffees would be immediately recognised.
She added that Thailand will also improve its reputation in the global market by submitting an annual report to the US Trade Representatives (USTR) in the bid to have Thailand removed from the US Priority Watch List (PWL), which documents intellectual property violation around the world.
Thailand joined the list in USTR Special 301 Report in 2013.
"Thailand aims to be excluded from the PWL," Ms. Kullanee said, "We will enforce procedures to suppress intellectual property violation, especially for trademark violation".
The next USTR Annual Report will be released in April 2014.