Protection of Geographical Indications: An Overview of Select Issues with Particular Reference to India
Centre for Trade and Development Working Paper No. 8
71 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2010
Date Written: May 1, 2007
This article explores the legal and economic implications of the hierarchical protection for GIs under TRIPS. Through a rigorous analysis of the negotiating history of the TRIPS provisions on GIs, including the submissions made by various countries during the Uruguay Round (UR), the article finds out that these provisions are basically the result of the trade-offs that were specific to the circumstances prevailing at the time of the UR negotiations. This was, to some extent, due to the link at that time between the negotiations on GIs; and those pertaining to agriculture. Given this link, the higher level of protection for wines and spirits was granted solely for the political reason of persuading the European Communities to join consensus on the UR package, despite strong opposition on part of many other countries including the US. The article also covers a range of other issues, such as the evolution of legal regimes on origin-labeled products at the international and national levels; the economic rationales underlying GI protection; the relationship between GIs and trade marks; and the treatment of GIs in the regional and bilateral free trade agreements to which either the EU or the US is a signatory.
Keywords: Geographical Indication, Protection, WTO, TRIPS, Negotiating History, Doha Negotiations, Article 23 Extension, Law, Economic Rationale, Trademark, Free Trade Agreements, EU, US
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