A geographical indication (GI) is any sign or symbol that identifies goods as emanating from any specific region or location of a country that gives the goods its known quality, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that region or locality.
An application for the registration of a GI must be submitted on the prescribed application form (Form 1).
Goods can only gain GI’s status because they retain;
Geographical Indications may be used for a wide variety of products, whether natural, agricultural or manufactured. Various agricultural products retain qualities derived from their place of origin and are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil. It is important that the product derives its qualities and reputation from that place. Some examples of GIs are Champagne, Scotch Whiskey, Parmesan Cheese and Swiss Watches.
No. The use of GIs is not limited to agricultural products because GIs may also highlight qualities of a product which are due to human factors associated with the place of origin of the products, such as specific manufacturing skills and traditions. A very good example of this is Swiss Watches. The term SWISS or SWISS MADE for watches is commonly understood as referring to high quality watches manufactured in Switzerland. As stated on the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s website, the understanding is that “Swiss quality for watches depends on the amount of work actually carried out in Switzerland even if some foreign components are used in it.”
There are various examples of GI’s from around the world. The more popular ones include:
A trade mark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders. By contrast a GI tells consumers that a product is produced in a certain place and has certain characteristics that are due to that place of production. For example, Champagne is a GI for wine that comes from the Champagne region of France and informs consumers of this fact by its very name, Champagne. One of the world's largest Champagne producers is a French winery and company, Moët & Chandon whose registered trademark, Moët & Chandon, appears on the bottle. Thus the TM and the GI are distinct from each other.
If a geographical term is used as the common designation of a kind of product, rather than an indication of the place of origin of that product, then the term no longer functions as a geographical indication. Where this has occurred in a certain country, then that country may refuse to recognize or protect that term as a geographical indication.