The Importance of Geographical Indications

  • The origins of using legislation to protect the commercial reputation of agricultural producers can be traced back centuries ago to the Industrial Revolution. As consumers began to realise that the same classes of products from separate regions have varied quality, with some regions producing products with a higher quality than other regions. A lot of this had to do with natural advantages, or the unique practice of traditional food processing that a region possesses. An example of this would be the “Burgundy Wine” from Burgundy. (Information credit: https://www.suzaanlainglaw.com/geographical-indications/)

     

    Through the course of history, as trade expanded, the protection of geographical Indications became a prime concern for many countries in international markets. Eventually a multilateral agreement to deal with Geographic Indications was signed under the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

     

    Advantages of Geographical Indications Status:

     

    Geographical Indications or GIs can be defined as collectively ownership, “sui generis” intellectual property right. This right links the geographical origin of a product to its quality. Even though they fall under the category of trademarks, they differ in some notable ways.

     

    The Importance of Geographical Indications status is immense in the modern globalised markets, and many businesses are thus seeking the services of a GI law firm. Getting GI protection has some important advantages for businesses, some of which are mentioned below.

     

    1. Economic Wealth Growth:

    Geographical Indication plays a key role in giving producers the confidence to ask for optimal prices for their unique products. A GI stamp or certification gives a product a good reputation, which in turn results in economic growth within a certain region.

     

    2. Exports are increased:

    The GI tag acts as a legal security shield, alleviating much of the worry from the business owners or producers. Since the danger of counterfeited products is largely eliminated, producers can focus more on their core competencies, and end up producing more volume. The level of exports thus increases with the rise of production.

     

    3. Avoids Misuse:

    After producers acquire the GI tag for their product, it gives them the legal right to stop anyone from misusing this certification. This measure helps protect the interest of the producers, preventing reputational damage to genuine producers and their unique products. Because of these measures, producers with a GI tag face much less competition from fake or unauthorised competition.

     

    4. Enhances Tourism:

    The goodwill attached to a product’s reputation after receiving a GI tag can help the country or region when it comes to tourism. The GI tag enables the product to be sold throughout the world, serving as a kind of publicity for the regions in question. This in turn attracts tourists like food connoisseurs who like to travel to the places of origin of these products.

     

    In the modern marketing landscape, it is advised to get a GI tag to maximise the products selling potential. Fortunately, you can get in touch with a GI firm in South Africa which specialises in advising or applying for certification and representing their clients before certification and government agency bodies.