Napa Valley Vintners to Participate in International Intellectual Property Meeting on Geographic Indications


3/28/2017 -  St. Helena, CA –The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association is participating today in an information session on geographic indications organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations that promotes use of intellectual property.

The information session is taking place on the sidelines of the 37th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications which is meeting at WIPO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland from March 27 to 30, 2017.

Scott Gerien of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, NVV’s legal counsel, will represent the association on a panel about producer experiences related to the protection of geographical indications (GIs). NVV is participating because although Napa Valley produces less than a half percent of the world’s wine, the region has established itself as a leader in intellectual property matters for the global wine industry.

“I’m honored to represent Napa Valley and the NVV before this prestigious group that leads the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system,” commented Gerien.

For more than two decades, the NVV has worked to protect the Napa Valley name from misuse and to prevent consumer deception. NVV believes wine is a product of place and the trade association’s guiding principle is, ‘A wine label should not suggest the grapes come from Napa unless they really do.’

“When you choose a wine from Napa Valley it means something,” said Rex Stults, NVV’s director of government relations. “The words ‘Napa Valley’ represent more than a name. They denote a specific wine growing place. It’s long been our mission to protect consumers from the bad actors who attempt to deceive them with misdescriptively labeled wines.”

Napa Valley was the first wine region in the world to earn GI status in the People’s Republic of China in 2012; the first non-European wine region to achieve GI status in the European Union in 2007; and has obtained name protection assurances from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

NVV was the first regional wine trade association to sponsor statewide conjunctive labeling legislation in California in the late 1980s and also created the state’s Napa Name Law, which went into effect in 2006, following a lengthy legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both labeling laws help to further protect the integrity of the Napa Valley name.

About the Napa Valley Vintners The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 525 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at

Contact: Patsy McGaughy, Communications Director - 707.968.4207,


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