What are Geographical Indications?
Geographical Indications are used to guarantee that certain products come from certain areas. Think sparkling wine from Champagne, or Prosciutto from Parma. Often associated with agriculture or food products, Geographic Indications are there to provide some assurance of the source of these products, while providing the local producers an edge in the marketplace. The owner of the geographical indication can certify providers that are in compliance with the requirements of the certification mark (geographical indication), to use the geographical indication.
How to protect Geographical Indications?
An application for the geographical indication may be filed with the USPTO in a similar manner to a trademark. The owner is responsible for certifying use of the mark, and it must be shown that the products i) have a specific geographical origin and ii) possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. As the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.
Please contact us for more information on your geographical indication, or questions you have on geographical indications. If you think there are other helpful geographic indicators that ought to be mentioned, please add them in the comments below!