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 17: From terroir to pangkarra: Geographical Indications of origin and Indigenous knowledge

Brad Sherman and Leanne Wiseman

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


There has been a marked increase over the last few decades or so in the number of countries which recognise and protect Geographical Indications of origin (GIs). There has also been a steady expansion in the types of things that are protected. While this is not that surprising given the growing interest in slow food and traditional products, what is more surprising, at least at first glance, is the increased attention that has been given to the potential use of GIs to support and promote Indigenous interests. GIs have been associated with Indigenous traditional knowledge in two ways. Firstly, it has been suggested that they could be used as a mechanism to protect and sustain Indigenous interests. This is because, as the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore noted, some traditional cultural expressions may qualify as goods which could be protected by geographical indications. Secondly, and more ambitiously, it has also been suggested that the regimes used to regulate GIs might be used as a template on which sui generis schemes to protect Indigenous knowledge might be modelled.

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