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Geographical Indications of Origin at the Crossroads of Local Development, Consumer Protection and Marketing Strategies

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Abstract

This article reviews the international provisions applicable to the protection of geographical indications of origin (GIs) and elaborates on the benefits of GI protection for local development and consumer information. Yet, this article supports that these benefits are dependent on a strict linkage between the GI-denominated products and the territory from which they originate. This article also highlights how the current definition of GIs has loosened this linkage and criticizes this development. In particular, this article supports that today GIs have essentially transformed into marketing tools, which can play a strategic role in international trade in agricultural, food-related, and other products due to the competitive advantage that GIs can grants because of the evocative power that is embodied in the geographical terms. This development, however, questions the theoretical premise for protecting GIs as intellectual property rights altogether. Ultimately, this article advocates against this development and calls for a stricter enforcement of the territorial linkage between GI-denominated products and the terroir. © 2015, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich.

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... Thus, brands have the mechanism of adding value and credibility to the product, as it is a visual form that can make a product known, but unlike geographical indications that have a seal that is also a collective brand, it does not have the function of determining origin and product quality. However, in many cases they will have similar functions as a marketing tool (Calboli, 2015), promotion of local territorial development (Carvalho; Pereira; Ferreira, 2017), essential for international trade (Mancini et al., 2016). ...
... Trademark registration requests -Mesoregion of Alagoas -2010 to 2017 Source: Prepared by the authors from INPI (2018).By mesoregion, Eastern Alagoas concentrates the largest number of trademark applications(3,673), with the largest applications in 2017 (728) and 2016 (595), and the years with the lowest applications were followed by Marechal Deodoro (60) and Maragogi (54), but with much lower values compared to the capital. The other municipalities range from 1 to 43 trademark registration requests.In Agreste Alagoano, 554 registration requests were made, with the highest numbers in 2013(89)and 2017 (80) and the lowest in 2010 (23) and 2012(35). ...
Article
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The objective of this study is to analyze local, innovative and sustainable development in the three Mesoregions of Alagoas, through intellectual property indicators (patents, trademarks, industrial design and geographical indications). The meth-odology consists of the analysis of secondary sources extracted from the Statistical Database on Industrial Property (BADEPI), available on the website of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), for the years 2010 to 2017. The results point out marked differences, with the eastern Alagoas mesoregion concentrating the intellectual property indica-tors with two geographical indications, 95.93% of the patent deposits and 84.73% of the deposits of trademark registra-tions, as well as industrial designs and computer programs. Agreste Alagoano presents a reasonable amount of intellectual protection, with emphasis on the municipality of Arapiraca. Sertão Alagoano, on the other hand, has the worst situation, low amount of intellectual property, even in a region with a diversified cultural and environmental environment. Thus, it was found that the Mesoregions of Alagoas need an ecosystem that invests in the innovation process in the region, espe-cially the Sertão Alagoano.
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Article
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Article
What happens when a breakdown in relations results in mutually possessed objectives becoming harder to achieve? This article explores the consequences of the UK's withdrawal from the EU for intellectual property (IP) law and policy. Compared with other fields such as Economic and Monetary Union and the development of the EU's ‘social chapter’, the UK has been a supportive and proactive player in internal market integration, particularly pertaining to IP protection. As a result of ‘Brexit’, the EU may find that the impetus for further harmonization and integration in this field is lost, such as with the EU unitary patent. However, the consequences for the UK are likely to be more severe – a loss of influence, both over laws that govern it and in exporting IP norms internationally, as well as a loss of access to certain protections, agencies and market sectors that are within the UK's economic interests.
... Further, the impact is highly concentrated, with most of the effect being due to a very small number of products -Italian cheeses and meat products, and French cheeses. 33 The 28 A point particularly emphasized by Calboli (2015aCalboli ( , 2015b. 29 Preamble to Regulations 1151/2012 at item 18, and preambles to Regulations 510/2006Regulations 510/ and 2081Regulations 510/ / 1992. ...
Article
This article explores European Union (EU) policy on geographical indications (GIs) as expressed in the outcomes of EU trade negotiations. This empirical approach provides a factual basis about the GI deals which are acceptable to the EU. Across the EU’s six recent Global Europe treaties the EU has achieved a good degree of success in obtaining strong-form GI rights (no use of -like, -style qualifiers on labels) for a number of specific products. The article also identifies GI outcomes in recent treaties driven by US negotiating demands. While US-driven treaties prioritize a trademark approach to GIs, they also allow for coexistence with EU-style strong-form GIs. Comparing these two sets of outcomes provides useful insights for future EU trade negotiations, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US or the proposed Free Trade Agreement with Australia and New Zealand. In particular the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) shows how the interests of domestic cheese and meat producers can be protected while allowing for strong-form GI privileges for a reasonable number (163 in CETA) of listed product names.
... Legislation and structure for the recognition of GIs are different in each country. 53,54 All the existing legal frameworks can lead to the development consequences listed. The sequence of activities required, as well as the support and institutions involved, may have minor changes due to the legal structure of each country. ...
Article
Geographical indications (GIs) are distinctive signs used on goods or services, the reputation or characteristic of which arises from their origin. Examples are Champagne, Darjeeling, Canastra, among others. They were created to prevent fraud, but they can serve and have been used by scholars, governments, and entities as an instrument for development. To discover the components of the development resulting from registration of GI, we conducted an integrative literature review regarding GIs and development. We found 122 articles (ScienceDirect: 38 and ISI Web of Science: 84) which was reduced to 81 following verification by content analysis. The elements constituting this development were understood as consequence of actions and conditions prior and subsequent to recognition of GI. The proposed new synthesis linked these issues with both positive and negative effects. Based on these relationships, it is evident that development is not an immediate consequence of registration, it depends on a series of factors (of which public support, producer engagement, and consumer recognition stand out) and to what extent they are present.
... GI acts as a marketing tool for producers and is a positive instrument. Just granting gi for products serve as a vehicle for the development rather than a marketing tool (Calboli, 2015). According to (Dr.Ruppal W Sharma & Shraddha kulhari, 2015), E-commerce acts as the best platform to promote GI-tagged products across India. ...
... Alternatively, countries may choose to pursue sustainability differentiation on a nation-wide basis, for instance through the development of denominations of origin or geographical indications (Calboli, 2015;Raustiala and Munzer, 2007), which have been increasingly adopted by actors in the Global South as a tool for local development and 'branding from below' (Biénabe and Marie-Vivien, 2017;Mancini, 2013). The possibility of using denominations of origin for sustainability signaling was recognized early in the Global North: For instance, when confronted with the rise of the Forest Stewardship Council, forestry industry associations in Europe worked closely with their national regulatory agencies, and contemplated the creation of labels of origin such as the Forestry Industry Council of Great Britain's Woodmark label of origin (1994) and the German Herkunftszeichen (1996) (Cashore et al., 2004). ...
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The private regulation of agri-food value chains through sustainability standards has proliferated in recent decades, promising producers to differentiate themselves and gain preferential market access. However, in a number of producing countries, laws exist that mirror and go beyond what private labels demand. These countries have two options for placing their sustainable products in the market: signal their national system's equivalence to private schemes, or utilize the existing regulatory framework as favorable preconditions for widespread certification. In framing this choice as a collective reputation challenge, this study analyzes under which conditions states and parastatal actors opt for either approach, provides evidence of the strategies used, and draws conclusions on their respective success and on-the-ground outcomes. Using an in-depth comparative case study of the coffee sectors of Costa Rica and Colombia, the study finds that the divergence in institutional strategies can be explained by three factors: sector-specific institutional capacities; a country's place in the commodity marketplace, which determines the expected added pay-off of certification; and a country's overall international image.
... An example of this is the recurrent association of this phenomenon with other existing practices, themselves differentiating, such as "Country of Origin" (Eroglu and Machleit 1989;Felzenstein et al. 2004;Balestrini and Gamble 2006;Dekhili et al. 2011;Bruwer and Buller 2012;Agnoli et al. 2014;Brodie and Benson-Rea 2016), Geographical Indications (GI) (Martinez-Carrasco et al. 2005;Hamlin and Leith 2006;Giovannucci et al. 2010;Deselnicu et al. 2013;Mancini 2013;Conejero and Silva 2017), Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and/or Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) (Cendón et al. 2014;Charters et al. 2013;Skilton and Wu 2013;Charters and Spielmann 2014;Calboli 2015;Marcoz et al. 2016). ...
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This study reviews the literature on the subject of place branding, in order to understand how this practice has provided a synergistic association between territorial brands and agro-food products from certain places. An empirical analysis of references resulting from a search in three databases allowed identification and selection of 261 studies, indexed in the SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), on the subject of place branding, and they were classified in seven different categories. The results reveal that the association between place branding and agro-food products can generate synergistic effects for the parties involved. This relationship is found to be dominant in previous studies analysed, identifying 19 different agro-food products which correspond to a universe of 108 brands and/or names. In addition, various gaps are identified in the literature of reference as well as possible paths to explore the applicability of the place branding concept.
... The GI CoP is currently being used as a tool to measure the product against conventional standards [33] rather than to exemplify and protect the qualities linked to its origin that help differentiate it on the market. The GI was designed to help homogenize and elevate product quality standards but above all, it is used as a marketing tool to help penetrate modern market channels [34,35,46]. After our analysis, it is unclear if any of the intrinsic qualities of the fruit truly differentiate it from other grapefruits on the market. ...
Article
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Existing frameworks offer a holistic way to evaluate a food system based on sustainability indicators but can fall short of offering clear direction. To analyze the sustainability of a geographical indication (GI) system, we adopt a product-centered approach that begins with understanding the product qualification along the value-chain. We use the case of the GI Corsican grapefruit focusing on understanding the quality criteria priorities from the orchard to the store. Our results show that certain compromises written into the Code of Practices threaten the system’s sustainability. Today the GI allows the fruit to be harvested before achieving peak maturity and expectations on visual quality lead to high levels of food waste. Its primary function is to help penetrate mainstream export markets and to optimize labor and infrastructure. Analyzing the stakeholders’ choices of qualification brings to light potential seeds for change in the short run such as later springtime harvests, diversification of the marketing channels, and more leniency on the fruit’s aesthetics. These solutions lead us to reflect on long-term pathways to sustainable development such as reinforcing the fruit’s typicality, reducing food waste, reorganizing human resources, and embedding the fruit into its territory and the local culture.
... GIs are more controversial than other types of intellectual property rights such as trademarks and copyrights. More and more countries are embracing the GI system, but opinions are divided on whether GIs contribute to rural development, provide more accurate information to consumers, or bringing greater economic benefits (Calboli, 2015;David and Halbert, 2017). The aspect that is subject to the most heated debate is whether or not the GI system is detrimental protectionism and how much it is correlated to economic benefits. ...
Article
Given the possible renegotiations of the Korea–European Union FTA, this study focuses on the geographical indications (GIs) system included under the Korea–EU FTA and proposes a strategy for Korea to utilize GIs effectively. GIs have been gaining greater importance as a way to safeguard cultural goods in the global trade market against the impact of globalization. For Korea to utilize GIs to its advantage, the EU’s strategy during the Korea‐EU FTA negotiations can be a useful reference. That strategy is one that is centered on the protection of the EU’s GI products in other countries, rather than in the Korean market. This ‘roundabout strategy’ of the EU is one which Korea can apply in order to realize its goal to differentiate its own products from those made by its neighboring countries, Japan and China. The lesson Korea can learn from the EU’s roundabout strategy is that GIs based on locality and traditions can not only play a role as a source of potential economic revenues but also as an effective assertion of national cultural identities which are often overshadowed by the prominence of the larger region. The global popularity enjoyed by Korean popular culture today and the consequent rise in the demand for Korean cultural products in the global market, has presented a valuable opportunity for Korea to promote its unique identity internationally.
Chapter
Historically, few topics have proven to be so controversial in international intellectual property as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The adoption of TRIPS in 1994 did not resolve disagreements, and countries worldwide continue to quarrel today as to the nature, the scope, and the enforcement of GI protection nationally and internationally. Thus far, however, there is little literature addressing GI protection from the point of view of the Asia-Pacific region, even though countries in this region have actively discussed the topic and in several instances have promoted GIs as a mechanism to foster local development and safeguard local culture. This book, edited by renowned intellectual property scholars, fills the void in the current literature and offers a variety of contributions focusing on the framework and effects of GI protection in the Asia-Pacific region. The book is available as Open Access.
Article
The effect of globalization has seen a cross-cultural exchange of cultural forms and cultural diversity. This demands seeking the most effective, comprehensive, and appropriate mechanisms to safeguard and protect traditional knowledge. Established international treaties and regional/national conventions appear to cover the international trade in products but to what degree they discriminate among products should be tested. In order to do so international and regional legislation as well as bilateral agreements between the European Union and Latin American countries will be considered. Additionally, when handicrafts are at issue the debate over the relationship between cultural heritage and intellectual property is relevant. This paper addresses the topic of geographical indications as a tool to protect, but also to safeguard and preserve, traditional handicrafts. By examining local frameworks and the importance of international harmony, the study will show that the protection of geographical indications goes beyond economic goals.
Chapter
Full-text available
Historically, few topics have proven to be so controversial in international intellectual property as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The adoption of TRIPS in 1994 did not resolve disagreements, and countries worldwide continue to quarrel today as to the nature, the scope, and the enforcement of GI protection nationally and internationally. Thus far, however, there is little literature addressing GI protection from the point of view of the Asia-Pacific region, even though countries in this region have actively discussed the topic and in several instances have promoted GIs as a mechanism to foster local development and safeguard local culture. This book, edited by renowned intellectual property scholars, fills the void in the current literature and offers a variety of contributions focusing on the framework and effects of GI protection in the Asia-Pacific region. The book is available as Open Access.
Chapter
Historically, few topics have proven to be so controversial in international intellectual property as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The adoption of TRIPS in 1994 did not resolve disagreements, and countries worldwide continue to quarrel today as to the nature, the scope, and the enforcement of GI protection nationally and internationally. Thus far, however, there is little literature addressing GI protection from the point of view of the Asia-Pacific region, even though countries in this region have actively discussed the topic and in several instances have promoted GIs as a mechanism to foster local development and safeguard local culture. This book, edited by renowned intellectual property scholars, fills the void in the current literature and offers a variety of contributions focusing on the framework and effects of GI protection in the Asia-Pacific region. The book is available as Open Access.
Article
This study assesses the dynamics of different Geographical Indication (GI) systems as we seek to showcase how different rural communities capitalised on GI as a tool to secure their heritage/place‐based product reputations. The cases of Lugu Dong Ding Oolong Tea of Taiwan and Gobi Desert Camel Wool of Mongolia are used to provide important contexts of development—and in turn, enable us to undertake a comparative exercise to reveal the differences in terms of pre‐condition settings, impacts and pursuit of rural industrial development. Taiwan's Certification Trademark system gained protection of origin‐place quality reputation for its rural industrial communities. Meanwhile, Mongolia's Sui Generis appropriated the idea of GI for construction of desirable value chains for productive activities. Our observations and derived typology are useful as hindsight on what settings are conducive for GI protection and how they would mould a governing structure for productive activities.
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Chapter
Historically, few topics have proven to be so controversial in international intellectual property as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The adoption of TRIPS in 1994 did not resolve disagreements, and countries worldwide continue to quarrel today as to the nature, the scope, and the enforcement of GI protection nationally and internationally. Thus far, however, there is little literature addressing GI protection from the point of view of the Asia-Pacific region, even though countries in this region have actively discussed the topic and in several instances have promoted GIs as a mechanism to foster local development and safeguard local culture. This book, edited by renowned intellectual property scholars, fills the void in the current literature and offers a variety of contributions focusing on the framework and effects of GI protection in the Asia-Pacific region. The book is available as Open Access.
Article
There is a growing research that considers the geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs as commons. However, narrative approaches exploring this relationship are scarce. This research analyzed stories attached to twelve Catalan and Swedish products within the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) schemes to map out how narratives of commons are articulated. The analysis raised four key aspects of the narratives of GIs as commons: i) historical constitution; ii) collective efforts as a driving force behind their value; iii) co-responsibility of the community of producers and related actors; and iv) intangible outputs and focus on heritage. The results show that the narratives of GIs as commons have a stronger presence in Catalonia and more clearly address issues of social engagement and cultural heritage than in Sweden. Internal differences were noted in the two countries and some GIs are more commercially oriented and cater for world markets while others are noncommercial and only regionally consumed. The article contributes to the research on GIs, better connecting their complexities throughout their communicative and narrative constitution and articulation as commons.
Article
This study sought to propose a theoretical model by determining the incident factors of agro-industrial territorial development based on the existing scientific literature and the exploration of successful case studies in the sector worldwide. A systematic review of the literature was carried out, with a bibliometric analysis and content analysis, recognizing elements associated with the improvement of competitiveness and territorial development. The factors identified as incidents of agro-industrial territorial development are: the short supply chain, protection of agri-food products with territorial identity, family farming, local food systems and agribusiness. These factors were integrated into a theoretical model in order to analyze the systemic interaction of each of the factors to find the causes or reasons for territorial development where activation mechanisms can be identified, such as: relational, spatial and technological proximity, the institutional framework from the territory, the support of public policy and the promotion of inclusive and integrated businesses in the value chain.
Chapter
Historically, few topics have proven to be so controversial in international intellectual property as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The adoption of TRIPS in 1994 did not resolve disagreements, and countries worldwide continue to quarrel today as to the nature, the scope, and the enforcement of GI protection nationally and internationally. Thus far, however, there is little literature addressing GI protection from the point of view of the Asia-Pacific region, even though countries in this region have actively discussed the topic and in several instances have promoted GIs as a mechanism to foster local development and safeguard local culture. This book, edited by renowned intellectual property scholars, fills the void in the current literature and offers a variety of contributions focusing on the framework and effects of GI protection in the Asia-Pacific region. The book is available as Open Access.
Article
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There is considerable variation in the nature, scope and institutional forms of legal protection for valuable geographical brands such as Champagne, Colombian coffee and Darjeeling tea. While regional products are increasingly important for producers, consumers and policy makers, the international legal regime under the TRIPs Agreement remains unclear. Adopting a historical approach, Dev Gangjee explores the rules regulating these valuable geographical designations within international intellectual property law. He traces the emergence of geographical indications as a distinct category while investigating the key distinguishing feature of the link between regional products and their places of origin. The research addresses longstanding puzzles, such as the multiplicity of regimes operating in this area; the recognition of the link between product and place and its current articulation in the TRIPS definition; the varying scope of protection; and the extent to which geographical indications ought to be treated as a category distinct from trade marks.
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The relationship between Trademarks and Geographical Indications (GIs) has historically been tempestuous. Each of these quibbling siblings, members of the broader family of Unfair Competition law, entitles registrants to the exclusive use of a sign. So what happens when a GI collective and a trademark proprietor lay claim to the same sign within a single jurisdiction? As part of the renewed interest in TRIPs flexibilities and attempts at accommodating or reconciling differences between national laws, this paper explores a newly emerging space that may just be big enough for the both of them. The analysis draws on a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel Report, which identifies the legal foundations for cohabitation. The Report coincides with doctrinal developments at the national and regional level which initially identified this zone of compromise: the geographical 'descriptive use' defence in trademark law. Coexistence is significant as it alters the dynamic of a venerable conflict between trademark and GI regimes, which has been locked in the language of trumps for several decades. Accordingly, this paper introduces the players and describes the game of one-upmanship prior to this development in Part I; outlines the WTO decision in Part II and then draws parallels with doctrinal developments in the EU and US which presaged the possibility of coexistence in Part III. It concludes with an endorsement of coexistence as an equitable solution.
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The generic use of geographical product names has persisted as the single most controversial issue in Geographical Indications (GI) law for over a century. The controversy is compounded by political compromises at international trade negotiations, with judicial resolutions in multilateral disputes being the exception. One such exceptional case was the recent Feta dispute, where the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered the test for generic status under the pan-European registered GI regime. The ECJ ultimately upheld the European Commission's finding that Feta was not a commonly used expression for a type of white cheese in brine, instead designating cheese with a specific Greek origin. In the process, the litigation generated an extensive unpacking of the test for genericide. A puzzle posed here was that Feta had been produced in Germany, Denmark and France for several decades. This article revisits the reasons for why this initially significant evidentiary finding was subsequently overshadowed. While generic status is based on a factual enquiry the threshold to be established, the categories of admissible evidence and the hierarchies of their importance all reflect the competing interests at stake. This in turn highlights unresolved tensions in the Unfair Competition heritage of this shadowy branch of Intellectual Property law.
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In this paper, we use the case of tequila to examine the potential for geographical indications (GIs) to contribute to socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. GIs are place-based names (e.g., Champagne, Roquefort) that convey the geographical origin, as well as the cultural and historical identity, of agricultural products. The GI for tequila was established by the Mexican government in 1974, making it the oldest GI, and one of the best-recognized, outside of Europe. Here, we examine the social, economic, and ecological impacts that the agave–tequila industry has had on one community in tequila's region of origin, the town of Amatitán. We show that persistent cycles of surplus and shortage of agave and changing production relations in the agave–tequila industry have led to: (1) economic insecurity among farm households; (2) increased use of chemical inputs, at the expense of more labor-intensive cultivation practices; and (3) overall declines in fertilizer application, especially during periods in which there is a surplus of agave. We argue that the negative effects of the agave–tequila industry on the local economy and environment are due to the failure of the GI for tequila to value the ways in which the terroir of tequila's region of origin have contributed to its specific properties. We conclude by using this case to discuss more generally the relationship between the protection of place-based products (known collectively as geographical indications) and social and environmental sustainability.
Book
Geographical indications, or marks designating a product's place of origin, are of huge economic value, and the laws designed to police and protect such designations are increasingly important and under scrutiny. This book is one of the first to offer a comprehensive and detailed examination of the European laws concerning the protection of geographical indications, and the application of those laws. Systematic attention is paid to the categories of geographical indication, including chapters on agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines, and spirits. Consideration is also given to enforcement mechanisms and the influence of the relevant provisions of the TRIPS agreement.
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Geographical indications of origin are important tools for consumer protection and product differentiation in the wine industry. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ("ATF") regulates their use on American wine labels. However, geographic terms also may appear on American wine labels in several other contexts, including as brand names, winery addresses, wine types, or even as grape variety names. These geographic terms often conflict with a wine's geographical indication of agricultural origin. This Comment examines the core purposes of ATF's wine-labeling regulatory scheme and compares these purposes to the similar purposes of trademark law. Applying consumer confusion and dilution analyses of trademark law to wine label content, this Comment argues that significant inconsistencies in ATF's regulation of geographic terms undermine its ability to serve its core regulatory purposes. These "nonconformities" in ATF's overall zoning scheme for the use of product descriptors on wine labels have produced a great deal of industry debate in recent years, as well as much political and legal maneuvering, yet the wine industry appears incapable of reaching consensus on a resolution to these issues. This Comment sets forth a comprehensive reform proposal that borrows the most promising aspects of existing reform proposals while incorporating a solution often applied in the zoning context: a phase-out of nonconforming uses over a reasonable amortization period. This comprehensive proposal would provide a meaningful and necessary resolution to the current conflict, while respecting both constitutional and commercial prerogatives.
The article uses the case of Basmati to identify a number of problems concerning geographical indications, including the interface with trademarks and the issue of genericity. Attempts to enter and free-ride on Basmati's premium rice market include the use of trademarks and (RiceTec's US) patent. Reviewing these, the article notes the subject matter of geographical indications can be implicated by other forms of intellectual property, such as patents. The case of Basmati is all the more problematic because of its transborder reality for which no provisions exist in the Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The article outlines and discusses various institutional models for a joint registration of Basmati between India and Pakistan as a possible solution for the TRIPS requirement of “home protection” (compare article 24.9).
Article
The WTO TRIPs Agreement heralded a landmark and controversial change in international law. It significantly increased the power of international intellectual property law and simultaneously engendered debate over the status and scope of intellectual property rights. Perhaps the most theoretically-contested such right relates to 'geographic indications' (GIs). Akin to a trademark, a GI identifies a good as originating in a particular region, where a given quality of the good is attributable to its place of origin. Because the place is said to be essential to the product, proponents argue that those outside a specified region cannot be permitted to use its place-name on product labels. The question of GI protection is linked to politically sensitive debates over agricultural protection, as well as the degree to which international law ought to trench upon questions of culture and tradition. This paper examines and critiques the rise of GIs in international law. Although GIs have a long history, we argue they gained markedly greater salience in the postwar period due to major changes in the global economy. Increasing consolidation of formerly discrete markets in turn meant increased competition - and opportunities - for many traditional producers. This enhanced global competition has raised the value of putative GI rights. While economic concerns loom large, the effort to entrench GI protection also draws strength from more diffuse concerns about authenticity, culture, and locality in a rapidly integrating world. After explaining the origins of the effort to protect GIs we assess the justification for these new rights. We argue that GI protection is justifiable for many of the reasons that trademark rights are justifiable: primarily, to protect consumers against confusion and to lower their search costs. We contend, however, that the current level of protection afforded by TRIPs for wine and spirits - which disallows any mention of a protected GI by a producer outside the region, even if the production locale is clearly indicated - is unwarranted in that it goes well beyond what trademark theory supports. A fortiori, further expansion of the wines and spirits standard to new products, as currently sought by European and other states in the Doha Round, is unjustified as well. We defend this position through careful consideration of the major theoretical bases for property rights.
Article
Geographic indications (GIs) stand at the intersection of three hotly debated issues in international law: international trade, intellectual property and agricultural policy. Akin to a trademark, a GI identifies a good as originating in a particular region, where a given quality of the good is attributable to its place of origin. Well-known GIs include champagne and prosciutto di Parma. Although GIs have a long history, in recent years they have become central to the debate over the expansion of intellectual property rights in the World Trade Organization. We argue that GIs have gained greater political salience and economic value due to major changes in the global economy. Proponents of GIs also raise more diffuse concerns about authenticity, heritage and locality in a rapidly globalizing world. After explaining the origins of the effort to protect GIs in international law, we assess the normative justification for these unusual intellectual property rights. Some GI protection in international law is justifiable. But the existing level of protection afforded by the World Trade Organization – as well as current demands of the European Union for even greater protection – is unjustified. We defend this position through careful consideration of the major theoretical bases for property rights.
Article
Geographical indications of origin (GIs), their definition, and rationale for protection have historically been the subjects of heated debates in the international community. Fierce defenders of GIs protection, European countries have traditionally advocated that GIs should not be used by unrelated parties because GIs identify the unique qualities, characteristics, and reputation of the products to which they are affixed. To this claim, the United States and other "new world" countries have generally responded by pointing out that many GIs are generic terms on their soil, and, thus, consumers could not be confused as to the origin of the products identified by these terms. The adoption of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1994 marked an important victory for the European approach by establishing general minimum standards for GI protection for all of its signatories. Distinguishing it from any previous international agreement, TRIPS required all signatories to establish minimal protections for GIs through their national laws and to provide extra protection for GIs that identify wines and spirits. Member countries also had to agree to TRIPS' "build-in agenda" to take part in future negotiations that would expand this enhanced protection. This essay analyzes the issue of GI protection pre- and post-TRIPs and considers whether extension of the protection set forth by TRIPs is desirable for the international community. The recent developments on the debate on GI are explored, particularly for wine and spirits, with an eye to whether the advantages of extending the current protection could outweigh the disadvantages of such an extension. Finding that enhanced GI protection in all areas could be more beneficial than detrimental for economic and agricultural development in most TRIPs countries, this essay suggests that there should be a "reasonable" expansion of the current GI protection among member countries of TRIPs.
Article
This paper first described the present state of international protection of geographical indications (GIs) such as Bourbon, Roquefort, and Bordeaux. Legal protection for GIs mandated in the TRIPS Agreement is implemented through appellations law in France and through certification mark systems in the United States and Canada. The paper then turns to the continuing debate between the European Union (EU) and other industrialized economies over this unusual form of intellectual property. The EU claims that increased GI protection would help developing countries, but, in fact, the increased protection proposed would principally secure larger monopoly rents to European farmers. Among other things, the EU wants the return of 41 words - like parmesan, mozzarella, champagne, and chablis.
Article
Geographical indications (GIs) are place-based names that convey the geographical origin, as well as the cultural and historical identity, of agricultural products. GIs are unique, in that they provide a means of ensuring that control over production and sales of a product stays within a local area, but at the same time they make use of extralocal markets. Although control over GIs largely rests with local actors, GIs are nested in wider regional, national, and international networks; and the passage from local to extralocal markets introduces new costs and benefits and new relations of power into the supply chain. The degree to which GI protection spurs development and protects local environmental and cultural resources depends on the structure of the GI legislation and on the territorial context in which protection is embedded. Using a commodity-chains approach, I compare two GI production systems, tequila in Mexico and Comté cheese in France, in order to develop a theory of the factors that contribute to more sustainable, equitable GI production systems. I argue that three key differences in the design of the GI schemes help to explain the varying effects of the two cases: (1) the manner in which supply-chain actors define quality, (2) the way that the GI valorizes the terroir of the region, and (3) the strength and cohesion that the collective organizing body exhibits. Moreover, the institutional and political context in which GI supply chains “touch down” plays a critical role. Contrary to a conceptualization of GIs as compatible with a purely market-oriented model, my comparison of these two cases indicates that some level of state involvement, in order to level the playing field and empower small farmers, is a necessary, although not sufficient, precondition for successful and sustainable GIs.
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