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 14: The Budweiser cases: Geographical Indications v trade marks

Christopher Heath


It would be an interesting but very substantial exercise to collect all the decisions of all the courts and all the trade mark registries of all the countries where the battles have taken place. Many lawyers and their families in many places must be grateful that these two parties apparently cannot produce a once and for all world-wide settlement. (Robin Jacob, LJ, in Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik v Anheuser-Busch Inc [2009] EWCA Civ 1022 at [6]) The beer-brewing tradition in the Bohemian town of Budweis/Ceske Budejovice dates back to the 13th century. The conflict that has been brewing between beer originating from this town and beer originating from the United States sold under the trade marks ‘Budweiser’ and ‘Bud’ since 1895 is not quite as old as that, yet dates back to the time before the First World War. Conflicts have arisen in about 30 countries and have raised a number of most interesting legal problems. But contrary to patent lawsuits worldwide that are decided on more or less the same facts, where the same patents and the same parties are concerned, the issue of the Budweiser cases is more complex. These cases are based on contract, registered marks, unregistered (but perhaps well-known) marks, trade names, on geographical indications protected by bilateral treaties or international agreements and on conflicts between trade marks and Geographical Indications.

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