FRENCH POLYNESIAN CAMPAIGN TO DEFEND THE NAME OF TAHITI

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PAPEETE, French Polynesia (April 11, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia’s economy minister Georges Puchon is in Paris this week meeting with French officials and campaigning for better intellectual property protection of the name "Tahiti," RFO-radio reports.

The trip results from concerns raised recently by the French Polynesian Chamber of Commerce, which pointed out that in metropolitan France around 300 products, from shower gels through a whole range of items, are currently marketed under Tahiti or Tahiti-derived names.

Local companies argue that because these products already are well known under their Tahitian labels and also marketed in French Polynesia, entrepreneurs wishing to use the names in French Polynesia are effectively penalized.

French companies usually use Tahitian names because they convey strong exotic and dream-loaded messages.

Other names of atolls in French Polynesia, like Bora Bora or Moorea, are not exempt either.

During his trip to Paris, Puchon is scheduled to meet with copyright lawyers in efforts to better protect French Polynesia’s cultural and name identity.

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