GI protection is granted by the TRIPS Agreement. There are various international agreements (The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1976).
The Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source (1981), Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Their International Registration of 1958) which grant some kind of protection for GIs as an intellectual property right.
Because of its availability and the number of signatory members, the WTO (World Trade Organization) TRIPS Agreement (an agreement on trade related intellectual property rights) of 1994 is currently the principal international instrument for protecting and defending GIs. This agreement provides for two levels of protection.
A basic protection fixed in Article 22 for all products which is determined by an act of misleading the public or unfair competition; and an additional protection fixed in Article 23 solely for wines and spirits which prevents any incorrect use of GIs on these types of product.