Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy
New Horizons in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch
Chapter 15: Geographical Indications and TRIPs
Michael Blakeney THE TRIPS REGIME The inclusion of geographical indications as part of the minimum IP standards prescribed for WTO Members by the TRIPS agreement has been particularly problematic. Unlike the other categories of IP rights, the US and EU, the main proponents of the TRIPS agreement, were divided on this subject. This division has been reﬂected in the subsequent discussions in the TRIPS Council and has culminated in the request by the US and Australia, for Dispute Panels to consider whether the European regime for the protection of geographical indications, infringes TRIPS standards. At the same time divisions also exist among other developed countries and among developing countries. The TRIPS agreement provides a basic standard for the protection of geographic indications. Article 22 deﬁnes geographical indications as: ‘indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.’ Article 22.2 of the TRIPS agreement requires that Members ‘shall provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent the use by any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of goods’. The TRIPS agreement does not specify the legal means to protect geographical indications. This is left...
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