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Why does the current legal protection for geographical indications need improvement?

Why does the current legal protection for geographical indications need improvement?

There are multiple reasons for revising and improving the protection of geographical indications, in particular: –

With global markets now increasingly open, it is indispensable that:

• Consumers can immediately recognize the origin of products. The improvement of protection for GIs at the international level will help the fight against the public being misled. A product whose name refers to or evokes a certain geographical region must be from that region.

• Producers and manufacturers of products identifiable by their GIs can position and defend their local products with an effective legal protection.

Such a protection facilitates the preservation of diversity and the quality of production in different parts of the world. Without this protection, producers of specific products will continue to be exposed to abusive uses of their geographical indications by producers in other countries who free ride on the reputation and recognition already established by those names in order to better sell products that do not bear the same qualities as the originals.

The TRIPS Agreement currently does not provide for adequate or sufficient protection of geographical indications. The TRIPS Agreement does not automatically protect all GIs. Protection must be sought on a country-by-country basis. This is often too costly for small GI producers. Thus, a simplified mechanism to help producers achieve worldwide protection is needed.


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