From Geography to History: Geographical Indications and the Reputational Link
In I Calboli and WL Ng-Loy (eds), Geographical Indications at the Crossroads of Trade, Development, and Culture in the Asia-Pacific (CUP, 2017) [Forthcoming]
24 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2017
Date Written: February 25, 2017
For well over a century, the notion of a distinctive link between regional products and their places of origin has been articulated in the language of terroir. This type of causal relationship – where the physical geography factors within a region leave their distinctive traces upon the end product – is reflected in the definition of a geographical indication (GI) found in Article 22.1 of TRIPS. However this chapter focuses on the underdeveloped, yet increasingly utilised possibility of a link between product and place resting on a ‘reputation… that is essentially attributable to its geographic origin’. As GI subject matter expands beyond wines, spirits and agricultural products to encompass confectionaries, charcuterie, cheese and crafts, a deterministic ‘physical geography’ explanation loses traction. This chapter proposes that historical evidence can complement that of geography, allowing us to more meaningfully answer the question of when a product’s reputation can be said to be essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
Keywords: intellectual property, geographical indications, terroir, reputation, geography, history
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