Singapore: Prosecco geographical indication application continues

In brief

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) decided that a geographical indication application for "Prosecco" originating from Italy would be granted, and an opposition by an Australian manufacturer failed on all grounds.


In more detail

In a recent May 2021 decision, Consorzio Di Tutela Della Denominazione Di Origine Controllata Prosecco v. Australian Grape and Wine Inc., the Principal Assistant Registrar Tan Mei Lin (PAR) rejected Australian Grape and Wine's opposition to Consorzio's geographical indication (GI) application. The GI application was to register the term "Prosecco" as a geographical indication of the North East region of Italy.

The grounds of opposition include:

  •  the GI contains the name of a plant variety and is likely to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product pursuant to section 41(1)(f) of the Geographical Indications Act (GIA); and 

  • the GI does not fall within the meaning of “geographical indication” as defined in the GIA.

The PAR decided that the GI application was unlikely to mislead consumers on the following basis:

  • “Prosecco” has been used as the name of a grape variety since at least 1773, originating from Italy, but since left its cradle of origin and is now cultivated in commercial quantities in other countries such as Australia. 

  • Australian "Prosecco" and Italian "Prosecco" have been sold alongside each other for 4 years in the Singapore market.

  • Prosecco consumers pay a high degree of attention to where goods are produced, reducing the likelihood of them being misled.

  • It is common industry practice for wine traders to market their wines in Singapore with an accompanying country of origin. 

  • Significantly, more Italian "Prosecco" is sold than the Australian variety given the popularity, reputation and length of time Italian "Prosecco" has been sold in Singapore.

Further, the application complies with section 2 of the GIA. The GIA only requires an indication be used in trade to identify goods as originating from a place and is not concerned with how it is perceived by consumers.

For more information, please view the full decision here.

Key takeaways

When processing GI applications, IPOS will consider the likelihood the approved GI will mislead the consumer as to the origin of the goods. Further, even though "Prosecco" is a variety of grapes, section 15(b) of the GIA does not automatically preclude registration of GIs that are identical with names of plant varieties. This decision reinforces the need to consider each GI application on a case-by-case basis to ascertain the prospects of success.



Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a global law firm with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a "partner" means a person who is a partner or equivalent in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an "office" means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as "Attorney Advertising" requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

Contact Information

Copyright © 2023 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Ownership: This documentation and content (Content) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms). The Content is protected under international copyright conventions. Use of this Content does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All Content is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulations and practice are subject to change. The Content is not offered as legal or professional advice for any specific matter. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any Content. Baker McKenzie and the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the Content and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the Content. The Content may contain links to external websites and external websites may link to the Content. Baker McKenzie is not responsible for the content or operation of any such external sites and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites. Attorney Advertising: This Content may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Content may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. Reproduction: Reproduction of reasonable portions of the Content is permitted provided that (i) such reproductions are made available free of charge and for non-commercial purposes, (ii) such reproductions are properly attributed to Baker McKenzie, (iii) the portion of the Content being reproduced is not altered or made available in a manner that modifies the Content or presents the Content being reproduced in a false light and (iv) notice is made to the disclaimers included on the Content. The permission to re-copy does not allow for incorporation of any substantial portion of the Content in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form or for commercial purposes.