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Why do geographical indications need protection?

Why do geographical indications need protection?

Geographical indications are understood by consumers to denote the origin and the quality of products. Many of them have acquired valuable reputations which, if not adequately protected, may be misrepresented by dishonest commercial operators.

False use of geographical indications by unauthorized parties is detrimental to consumers and legitimate producers.

The former are deceived and led into believing to buy a genuine product with specific qualities and characteristics, while they in fact get a worthless imitation.

The latter suffer damage because valuable business is taken away from them and the established reputation for their products is damaged.

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.

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