Achievements and New Perspectives
European Intellectual Property Institutes Network series
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 8: The simplification and codification of European legislation for the protection of geographical indications
From the outset, the legislative rationale for the Community-wide protection of geographical indications (GI) was based upon the need to simplify the diversity of national laws protecting the various kinds of designations for agricultural products. In 1992 Regulation 2081 On the Protection of Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs (GI Regulation) was enacted on the basis that codification would promote fair competition between producers and enhance consumer perceptions of product authenticity. The Regulation created a sui generis system of registration characterized by two of indications of source, Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), the PDO being distinguished from the PGI by the need for a stronger link between the product and the place of production. In coverage, the range of agricultural products permitted was reasonably broad, but applications in respect of foods were restricted to basic items such as meat, fish and dairy products.
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