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Day ​​​8 blogs - July 2​4, 2016

Learning about Geographical Indications of Origin at the geographical origin indicated

Blogger:  ​3L Jordan Hartsell

Italy-calboli-classLots of class time today with Prof. Calboli where we covered topics like intellectual property protection for traditional knowledge, geographical indications and traditional cultural expressions. We discussed how traditional knowledge is afforded patent protection and other means of intellectual property law, even though it is difficult to apply any intellectual property law because there are no specific protections afforded to traditional knowledge.

We learned that many drugs are made from regional plants and whoever develops the drug is usually able to get a patent on the product. However, the country or region where the plant is located or where the individual who develops the drug learns about the local positive uses of the plant does not normally recover or benefit from the patent at all. Furthermore, we discussed, in many circumstances, how the countries or natives to the land would simply enjoy the recognition that the plant came from their region or country.

We ended the day with discussions regarding geographical indications. I found this especially interesting because I plan on completing my final paper for this class concerning wines and the geographical indications associated with them and their accompanying laws and regulations.
Italy Chianti casks

Blogger:  ​​2L​ Neal Galloway

I woke up a little early in order to get an espresso from the bar. Unlike in America, Italians use the term “bar” almost literally. Most places will have liquor behind the bar, but primarily serve coffee and sandwiches, and you stand at the bar while finishing your espresso. They can tell I’m American because I always have to specify espresso. I’m unsure if Italians have to specify; I thought caffé meant espresso.

Italy-CalboliClass today with Prof. Calboli covered intangible cultural property and geographic indicators of origin, like Champagne. Most of us have an American view critical of geographic indicators, but there are a lot of good points in their favor. Australia, for example, started investing in their own wine only after they began enforcing European geographic indicators of origin. We also explored new downsides, like how developing countries tend to have geographic indicators that require extra preparation and thus are less apparent to end consumers.

Italy NealIn between classes, I took the opportunity to walk around the town. I ran out of toothpaste, so I tried to find somewhere to buy a tube. As a plus, I’ve heard European toothpaste typically contains more fluoride than you find in America. I can’t tell if I found some like that, since my Italian is not very strong.

I took a roundabout way back to class. It was partly the way we were shown when we arrived last week but I made some discoveries myself. I found a beautiful piazza that I haven’t seen until now that was decked out in red and yellow ribbons. It was during the mid-afternoon when most Italian shops are closed, so there was no one around for me to ask what was happening. Some of the backways had extensive graffiti, which the people here are not too happy about but I don't particularly mind.

Italy Chianti view
Italy Castiglion Fiorentino festival