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 15: Geographical Indications and protected designations of origin: intellectual property tools for rural development objectives

Dominique Barjolle


This chapter aims to develop a theoretical approach identifying the main factors which contribute to successful Geographical Indications (GIs). To achieve this objective, we highlight the interactions between the mechanisms of intellectual property rights protection, those linked to economic transactions and those linked to sustainable rural development. Consequently, our theory will take into account three levels of interactions: markets, organisations (or institutions) and territory. As far as GIs are concerned, we refer to the special case of traditional products whose names can be potentially protected under international treaties, such as those qualifying as GIs under Art 22.1 of TRIPS, or subject-matter-specific protection regimes, such as Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGIs) recognized in Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. The intellectual property protection of GIs, as defined in TRIPS, must be implemented by national regulations in each member state. The foundation of the actual legal basis of protection is the ‘unfair competition’ framework, which regulates the conduct of firms in the marketplace: they obtain the means to fight against unfair imitations, produced outside the geographical area of the traditional product, in almost all the cases at lower prices because of less demanding processes, and by abusing the trust of the consumers about the genuine provenance of the product.

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