Rooibos on its way to becoming a geographical indication…

Over the past twenty years, the registration of a trademark on “rooibos” has been hotly disputed (see a WIPO report on this here), but it seems that there is finally positive progress for South Africa. With a French company attempting to register rooibos as a trademark in Europe last year, the South African government has finally been galvanized into action. The recognition of rooibos as a geographical indication is now well on its way with the recent publication in the Government Gazette of proposed regulations to protect the use of the word “rooibos” in terms of the Merchandise Marks Act (see the report here).

Picture by Winfried Bruenken, 2005.

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