Of Markets, Culture, and Terroir: The Unique Economic and Culture-Related Benefits of Geographical Indications of Origin

Forthcoming in Research Handbook on International Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar, 2014 (Daniel Gervais ed.)

21 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2013

See all articles by Irene Calboli

Irene Calboli

Texas A&M University School of Law; Faculty of Law, University of Geneva; Hanken School of Economics; Singapore University of Social Sciences

Date Written: September 23, 2013

Abstract

In this Chapter, I highlight the economic and cultural benefits that derive from GI protection and consider whether expanding GI protection beyond the current international standards could be desirable for WTO/TRIPs Members. I also address the theoretical challenges that the protection of GIs creates for the traditional intellectual property system, and analyze the arguments against GI protection that have been raised by GI opponents. Ultimately, I conclude that both under a traditional economic approach as well as under a cultural analysis approach, granting GIs protection, including enhanced anti-usurpation protection, may produce benefits that can outweigh the costs of such protection. Generally, my observations refer primarily to GIs that identify products that are originating entirely, or almost entirely, from the territory in question either because these products are grown in, or are made with ingredients coming from the territory, or because they are manufactured therein. In this respect, I also note that TRIPs’ definition of GIs accepts that GIs can identify products that are only “essentially,” and not necessarily “exclusively,” grown or made in the GI-denominated terroir. Yet, in this Chapter I advocate for interpreting the wording “essentially” strictly, namely as “almost exclusively” or “mostly exclusively,” as the use of GIs on products with a looser territorial linkage raises serious doubts, in my opinion, as to the legitimacy of GI protection.

Keywords: International intellectual property, geographical indications of origin, territory

Suggested Citation

Calboli, Irene, Of Markets, Culture, and Terroir: The Unique Economic and Culture-Related Benefits of Geographical Indications of Origin (September 23, 2013). Forthcoming in Research Handbook on International Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar, 2014 (Daniel Gervais ed.), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2329566

Irene Calboli (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States

Faculty of Law, University of Geneva ( email )

Geneva
Switzerland

Hanken School of Economics ( email )

Helsinki
Finland

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore
Singapore

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