Geographical Indications and Designation of Origin

BlogGeographical IndicationsIntellectual Property Rights    November 4, 2019
Geographical Indication Posted On

Geographical indication, popularly known as GI, may not be a new term for you. But, what about the Designation of Origin? Are you aware of this phrase? Besides, are you familiar with Geographical Indication in a complete sense? If yes, then we are proud to appreciate you as having information regarding such crucial things is a need of the present century and can benefit you in several ways. However, on the other side, if you aren’t aware of what is GI or Designation of Origin, then don’t worry as after going through this article, you will be. So, let’s start:

What is a Geographical Indication?

A geographical indication refers to a name, symbol, or sign used on products that correspond to a specific geographical origin and possess reputation, characteristics, and qualities that are due to that origin. Note that to work as a GI, the name or sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. Apart from functioning as a quality mark to improve producers’ revenue and export markets, GI indicates the correct originating source of the product. It prohibits unauthorized individuals or companies from manufacturing or selling counterfeit products that don’t meet the applicable standards set according to that region under the name holding GI tag. For instance, producers of Darjeeling tea carrying GI tag have the legal power, i.e., right to prevent the use of word Darjeeling on the tea commodities, which are either not produced in their jurisdictions or failed to meet the standards set by the GI law. With the GI tag, one can prevent unauthorized production or selling of fake products under authorized identity, but not the use of the same technique or procedure used to produce products similar to those are holding GI tag.

What is the Designation of Origin?

Protected Designation of Origin refers to the name of a specific area or geographical region recognized by official rules to create products with characteristics associated with that location. We can also define it as a type of legal protection that implies inherent or exclusive natural and human factors of the geographic conditions resulting in specific quality and characteristics of the products or services. The designation of origin protects names or signs, which indicates that a product originates from a particular geographical region.

Why Is Protection of Geographical Indication or Designation of Origin Essential?  

Geographical indications are recognized by consumers to denote the quality and origin of products that have acquired valuable reputations, which, if not adequately protected, can be misrepresented by fraudulent commercial operators. That’s why the protection of both GIs and designation of origin is essential. Effective protection of these two legal systems is likewise beneficial to consumers and the general public. How? By promoting fair market competition and business practices, protected GI and designation of origin will assist the consumers in buying quality products. Moreover, by preserving the active workforce and stimulating family farms, especially in rural areas to develop traditional and specific products and services, the protection of these signs is helpful in the economic growth of the nation.

How Can the Protection of Geographical Indications be obtained?

The protection of GIs under Intellectual Property (IP) can be obtained easily through registration. These are usually protected under country-specific IP Law and by following the concepts such as consumer protection laws, laws for the protection of certification marks, special laws for the protection of geographical indications or designations of origin, or laws against unfair competition. Once obtained by accomplishing the registration procedure appropriately, the Geographical Indication Protection facilitates the original producer with the right to prevent others from using the authorized indication for products that don’t conform to the applicable standards. The registered GI and designation of origin can be used by all producers who meet the requirements and are from the specific locality. Geographical indication and designation of origin are often used with the name, logo, or sign that can be protected under an exclusive Intellectual Property Right (IPR), i.e., a trademark with the perspective to emphasize the individual character and general characteristics of products’ origin.

At last, we can conclude that GI and designation of origin are the best sources to avoid infringement concerns and build a remarkable reputation that makes the consumers worldwide to buy the specific product. Besides increasing the sale of the registered product, these two legal systems enhance tourism in areas where these products are being made by exciting people to visit there. In this way, these ultimately prove beneficial to not just producers but the entire nation. For more visit: 

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