Champagne, Feta, and Bourbon - the Spirited Debate About Geographical Indications

88 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006 Last revised: 11 Nov 2007

See all articles by Justin Hughes

Justin Hughes

Loyola Law School Los Angeles


This paper first described the present state of international protection of geographical indications (GIs) such as Bourbon, Roquefort, and Bordeaux. Legal protection for GIs mandated in the TRIPS Agreement is implemented through appellations law in France and through certification mark systems in the United States and Canada. The paper then turns to the continuing debate between the European Union (EU) and other industrialized economies over this unusual form of intellectual property. The EU claims that increased GI protection would help developing countries, but, in fact, the increased protection proposed would principally secure larger monopoly rents to European farmers. Among other things, the EU wants the return of 41 words - like parmesan, mozzarella, champagne, and chablis.

Keywords: trademark, geographical indications, intellectual property

Suggested Citation

Hughes, Justin, Champagne, Feta, and Bourbon - the Spirited Debate About Geographical Indications. Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 58, p. 299, 2006, Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 168, Available at SSRN:

Justin Hughes (Contact Author)

Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )

919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States
213-736-8108 (Phone)


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