Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Dev S. Gangjee

Provenance matters like never before. Legal regimes regulating the use of Geographical Indications (GIs) protect commercially valuable signs on products – such as Darjeeling and Champagne – which signal the link to their regions of origin. Such regimes have been controversial for over a century. A rich, interdisciplinary work of scholarship, this Research Handbook explores the reasons for and consequences of GIs existing as a distinct category within intellectual property (IP) law. Historians, geographers, sociologists, economists and anthropologists join IP specialists to explore the distinguishing feature of GIs, that certain products are distinctively linked or anchored to specific places.

Chapter 7: Rethinking GI extension

Michael Handler

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management, law - academic, intellectual property law


It is well accepted that the final form of the GI provisions of the TRIPS Agreement represented a messy, politically expedient compromise between the EU and the US, designed largely so that the Agreement, which was otherwise so mutually beneficial to those parties, could come into being. Nowhere is this compromise more evident than in the dual minimum standards of GI protection set out in Arts 22 and 23. Under Art 22.2, WTO Members are under a general obligation in respect of other Members’ GIs to prevent: (a) the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates or suggests 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 the good; [and] (b) any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Article 10bis of the Paris Convention (1967). Nothing in the TRIPS Agreement stipulates how Members are to afford such protection under their domestic laws.

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