Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications
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Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications

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.
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Chapter 10: A history of Australia’s wine Geographical Indications legislation

Stephen Stern


The story of Australia’s first forays into the complex area of the recognition, registration and protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) has been limited to the area of GIs for wines. As is described below, the legislative scheme that first introduced the term ‘geographical indication’ into Australian jurisprudence dates from only 1993. Before that time, no Australian legal textbook dealt with the concepts of geographical indications, appellations of origin or the like. It was only when Australia became involved in the WTO negotiations that led to the TRIPS Agreement that this term became known within Australian legal circles, outside of a handful of specialist legal practitioners. Apart from a provision of Australia’s trade mark legislation that imposes obstacles to registration of trade marks ‘containing or consisting of a false geographical indication’, even as at 2014 there remains no Australian legislative system dealing specifically with geographical indications outside of the wine sector.

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