Consumer Staples

IP Right - Geographical Indications: Great Opportunity For Small Producers

<p style="text-align: justify;">Some of the Geographical Indications (GI) from all around the World are:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Darjeeling Tea, Monsooned Malabar Arabica Coffee (India), Basmati rice (Pakistan),平谷大桃 / Pinggu Da Tao fruit (China), Vale dos Vinhedos vine (Brazil), Jamaica Jerk, Blue Mountain Coffee (Jamaica), Aceite de la Comunitat Valenciana (Spain), Beaufort cheese, <a href="">Kintoa</a> (France), &Gamma;&rho;&alpha;&beta;&iota;έ&rho;&alpha; &Nu;ά&xi;&omicron;&upsilon; / Graviera Naxou cheese, Kalamata oil (Greece).</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Often, buyers do not know that the above-mentioned products are GI. However, buyers associate GI with the outstanding quality of the product and buyers in the GI name recognize the overall country's brand.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Benefits of GI Products</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">In today's economy, geographical indications may be great assets for the local producers and the entire region or country. Furthermore, GIs have a positive economic impact on their country, generally on the world economy, environment and sustainable development.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Economic Impact</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">The sales value of the European food and drink sector was estimated at EUR 1 101 billion in 2017. The share of GI/TSG products reached 7.0% in EU28, corresponding to an estimated sales value of EUR 77.15 billion in EU28 in 2017. There was a 42% increase <a href="">between 2010 and 2017</a>.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Also, GI products are often 4 or 5 times more expensive than non-GI products. This is based on the certified production and outstanding and unique quality of the product.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">So, what makes GI as one intellectual property right so unique?</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Identification of its Origin</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Geographical indications are legal signs that identify a good as originating from a specific country or region, where the product's reputation is attributable to its geographical roots. The identity of GI products reflects the unique combination of local natural resources (climate, soils, local breeds, and plant varieties, traditional equipment, etc.) and cultural ones (traditions, know-how, and skills, some of which are transmitted through generations) in a given territory.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In that way, GI links the product, the people, and the place. The peculiarity of GI is reflected in the collective dimension of this right and its ownership that can't even be transferred to others. Simply, local producers from certain locations (their association) own this powerful IP right, and nobody outside that determined location can not use this right.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Opportunity for Small Producers</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">This intellectual property right can be a great opportunity for developing countries and their small producers. Through their connection, local producers can benefit in many ways by establishing an Interprofessional body that can protect and manage this right. They can sell the product at a higher price.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Tourism</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">For example, the economic profitability of Volaille de Bresse Poultry (France GI for chicken) is in supplying luxury gastronomic restaurants. Then, GIs can strongly contribute to tourism in the product's geographic area. In the case of Volaille de Bresse Poultry, in this place (Volaille de Bresse, France) there are four festive days called Les Glorieuses de Bresse. Chicken producers are competing for the best Volaille de Bresse Poultry. Chickens are wrapped in special linen or cotton swaddling from which the feathered neck of the chicken protrudes. This attracts more and more tourists every year.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Considering that developed countries have already recognized the role of geographical indication in national economies, their examples could serve as fertile examples. Developing countries can use these examples. From a legal perspective, different protection routes exist (national laws, international and EU regulations and agreements). This IP right is also a territory right and applies only in countries where protection has been obtained. For those interested in finding out what has been registered so far for the EU market and beyond, please have a look at the GI View register available here <a href="">GIview (</a></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em><span dir="ltr">This article was contributed by our expert </span><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Biljana Removic Dimic</a></em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;"><span dir="ltr">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by </span>Biljana Removic Dimic</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;" data-preserver-spaces="true">1. What strategies can spirit producers employ to prevent counterfeit products from undermining the integrity of geographical indications?</span></h2><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Four main categories of strategies are:</span></p><p><strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Implementing a system for monitoring the specifications and the control system</span></strong></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">GI registration and TM registration are only the first step. Spirit producers must collectively establish rules regarding quality schemes and control, product distribution, and marketing.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Quality schemes are crucial for continued quality and compliance with the code of practice or regulations of use. It has to take place on a regular basis during the entire GI life&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">cycle</span></p><p><strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Establishing proven supply chain management</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">From the raw materials until the final product distribution to the end user (all touch points in this supply chain should be collectively carefully chosen, proscribed, and monitored). Integrity can be damaged by failure to comply with supply chain rules.</span></p><p><strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Managing GI enforcement activities and enforcement strategy</span></strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">This</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;encompasses monitoring GI Spirit product distribution, including online offers and sales.&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">The infringement can be done internally (</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">e.g.</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;unauthorized producers fail to comply with the specifications) and externally (</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">e.g.</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;usurpation, misleading the consumer, misleading advertising, counterfeiting, and other different types of fraud).</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;Therefore, some of the best practice strategies are:&nbsp;</span></p><ul><li style="list-style-type: disc;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Strengthening the legal competence within the group</span></li><li style="list-style-type: disc;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Establishing a&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">clear</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;and efficient system for monitoring cases of fraud and infringement</span></li><li style="list-style-type: disc;"><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Regular communication&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">to</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;relevant stakeholders, not only&nbsp; consumers but also IP enforcement authorities such as Customs, Police,&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">etc.</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">, so that they can take appropriate action</span></li></ul><p><strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Consumer Education</span></strong></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Raising awareness of GI spirits products is equally important as all the above&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">mentioned</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">. In today&rsquo;s fast-paced consumer market, buyers need to recognize, value and finally buy GI products.</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;&nbsp;The decision-making process and distinguishing between counterfeited products can be a challenge. Therefore, spirit producers and interprofessional bodies should organize marketing campaigns, product labeling, and consumer outreach programs.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;" data-preserver-spaces="true">2. What potential implications do climate change and environmental sustainability concerns have on recognizing and protecting geographical indications?</span></h2><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Overall, climate change and environmental sustainability&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">are closely linked</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;with GIs. GIs link people, places, and products. Therefore,&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">changes in any of these three will be reflected</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;in GI.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Because of climate and biodiversity changes, some GI products have shifts in the raw materials, production process, and&nbsp;</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">many</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;more. There are some shifts in e.g. grape ripening times and alterations in flavor profiles, as well as the growth of alpine grasses and herbs that contribute to the unique flavors of Alps cheeses.</span><span data-preserver-spaces="true">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Interestingly, warmer temperatures also affect wines produced in regions with specific microclimates influenced by glaciers, such as certain parts of Switzerland or Austria. The same applies to glacial water used in some GIs for its purity and unique mineral composition.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">A Loss of biodiversity can undermine the authenticity and cultural significance of GIs, prompting efforts to protect and conserve native species and ecosystems.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true">Adapting to the changes is essential to preserve the authenticity, quality, protection, and recognition of GI products.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Biljana Removic Dimic

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