Label Directory

What is the Label Directory?  

Wine Australia is establishing a wine export label directory in 2020–21 to help Australian wine producers protect their intellectual property rights.

Development of this public-facing online directory is supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (the $50m Package).

Once established, the directory will require all Australian wine exporters to submit images of their labels to Wine Australia prior to gaining export approval.

Brand owners will then be able to search the directory to identify breaches of their intellectual property rights, and the public will be able to verify whether the Australian wines they consume originated in Australia.

Frequently asked questions

Q
How will Wine Australia establish the Label Directory?
A

Wine Australia will establish and administer the Label Directory as part of its wine export control function. The Label Directory will be built into the upcoming Wine Australia Licensing and Approval System (WALAS) and will require all Australian wine exporters to submit images of their labels prior to gaining export approval.

 

Q
When will the Label Directory go live?
A

The Label Directory will be developed in 2020 and go-live dates will be subject to regulatory guidance, manipulation of the Wine Australia Licensing and Approval System (WALAS) and creation of a public interface and searchable register, which will sit outside WALAS.

 

Q
How is the Label Directory being funded?
A
On 30 October 2019, Wine Australia received approval from the Department of Agriculture for $417,000 of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (the $50m Package) to be allocated to development of a Label Directory. To allow Wine Australia sufficient time to deliver this project, the Minister for Agriculture has provided an extension for delivery of the Label Directory past the $50m Package end date of June 2020.

Q
What information will be searchable on the Label Directory?
A
The Label Directory will likely be searchable by label description, including any words and brand names appearing on labels.

Q
Why will the Label Directory be publicly searchable?
A

By making the Label Directory public, it will not only allow brand owners to identify breaches of their IP rights and enforce them, but it will also promote the integrity of Australian wine providing a platform through which the public can verify whether products they purchase overseas originated in Australia. 

 

Q
What measures will be taken to stop a would-be copycat searching the Label Directory and replicating the label?
A

Only low-resolution PDFs will be displayed on the Label Directory and the information on the directory will not be any more accessible than trade mark and commercial wine label directories that are already available to the public. It will remain vitally important or brand owners to seek to protect their brands through formal trade mark registrations in the markets in which they do business.

 

Q
Can Wine Australia take action against an intellectual property breach?
A

Wine Australia’s statutory remit does not extend to matters concerning private intellectual property rights. However, if a label appears on the Label Directory anddoes not comply with the rules set out in the Wine Australia Act 2013 (such as the blending rules), other Australian laws, or the laws of the country to which the product is being exported, Wine Australia may decide whether to revoke approval of the related product. Where an exporter is engaged in activities that might jeopardise the successful promotion of Australian wine overseas (such as copycat activity), Wine Australia may consider whether to cancel or suspend the licence held by that exporter.

 

Q
What about stock that is exported in bulk and labelled in market?
A

The exporter will be able to voluntarily link a certain volume of a registered bulk product to a label applied in market – even it has been applied by a customer. This will, in turn, drive developers of in-market brands to forge direct relationships with Australian exporters – because they will want their labels to appear on the Label Directory.

Retailers and distributors in market will also be able to search the Label Directory and verify if a label is authentic. If a label does not appear on the Directory, its authenticity will not be verified through the system.

 

Q
How much additional administration will be required of Australian wine exporters?
A

Much of the information required for the Label Directory will be extracted from the Wine Australia Licensing and Approval System (WALAS). This will limit the amount of additional information that Australian wine exporters need to supply as part of the Label Directory process.


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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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