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 16: Social gains from the GI for Feni: will market size or concentration dominate outcomes?

Dwijen Rangnekar and Pranab Mukhopadhyay

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


Increasing social welfare is an objective of public policy. However, it is well recognized that interest groups influence public policy in a manner that best suits their group interests. In this paper we study the expected role of Geographical Indications (GI) as a welfare-enhancing policy intervention. When conceived as a protective measure, GI recognition was expected to provide protection to products that have traditional knowledge embodied in them. There are conflicting views on the ability of GIs to increase aggregate welfare. The institutions that are required to garner rents created by GIs may just not exist in developing countries. Further, being a protective measure, it stands in contrast to the overarching logic of a globalized agri-food regime. We explore the possible impacts of the GI on the stakeholders of Feni, an alcoholic drink distilled in Goa, a small state on the western coast of India. The Government of Goa and the Goa Cashew Feni Manufacturers and Bottlers Association, in a joint application, successfully registered a GI for Feni with the Indian GI registry on 27 February 2009. Feni is the first Indian alcoholic beverage (under class 33 of the GI Act) to be registered as a GI in India. This chapter uses both secondary data as well as the findings of a field survey for the analysis.

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