Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013

Publication Citation

20 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 1445 (2013)


This note explores the issues countries face when one party allegedly takes unfair economic advantage of foreign competitors in an increasingly global market by broadly interpreting international product labeling laws in its favor. The United States' widespread use of the term "champagne" in its domestic sparkling wine industry is just one example of how "genericide"-the process by which a popular brand name becomes so commonly used that the term is no longer protected by intellectual property law-negatively affects trade relations and hampers economic growth. This note focuses on the dangers of genericide in the marketplace, most specifically, the international wine trade, and looks to other industries and previous remedies that have successfully been used, for guidance on what steps can be taken to minimize trade conflicts. Throughout the note, it is shown that it will be economic factors, local advocacy, and long-term incentives that will create the impetus necessary for change in this otherwise stagnant area of international law.