Development Agendas in a Changing World
Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe
Chapter 11: Indications of Geographical Origin in Asia: Legal and Policy Issues to Resolve
Dwijen Rangnekar1 INTRODUCTION Geographical indications (GIs) are increasingly being seen as useful intellectual property rights for developing countries. This is because of their potential to localize economic control, promote rural socio-economic development and enable economic returns to holders of traditional knowledge. Some of these factors lie at the heart of the demand for stronger protection for products other than wines and spirits in the TRIPS Council (Rangnekar, 2003). Actualizing this latent potential within GIs, however, requires the development of complementary institutions and cooperation of all interested parties throughout the product’s supply chain; although there appears to be no singular and common pattern among successful GI products (Rangnekar, 2004). Unlike some provisions in the TRIPS Agreement, such as those concerning product patents in certain technology areas (for example, pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals under Article 65.4), the provisions for GIs do not allow for delayed implementation.2 The obligation under Section 3 (Part II) is non-specific, in that Articles 22 and 233 require the provision of ‘legal means’ for the protection of GIs to be available for ‘interested parties’.4 To be clear, the Agreement neither specifies the preferred legal means nor does it identify the range of legal options. Commentators suggest that this reflects the diverse range of legal means for the protection of indications of geographical origins (IGOs) existing at the time of the Uruguay Round negotiations (Knaak, 1996; Gervais, 1998; Watal, 2001).5 While this allows considerable room for manoeuvre – a principle supported by Article 1.1, which expressly states that Members...
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