- In Trade Marks
- 13 May 2022
Just like you can patent a product or get a trade mark for a good or service, you can also get protection based on geographical indicators. This is called a geographical indicator (GI) (where goods have qualities associated with that region). These are commonly known as certification marks (a sub-set of trade marks)
When you buy a bottle of Champagne for a celebration you know where it has come from and have an idea as to the quality you will get (only French winemakers in the Champagne region of France can call their product champagne). The same when you buy Darjeeling tea or a cheese from Kangaroo Island.
We are all familiar with products that have a GI even though we might not know it. For example Darjeeling tea (is tea that is grown in the Darjeeling or Kalimpong Districts in West Bengal India), Parmigiano Reggiano for cheese (made in the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Parma, the part of Bologna west of the Reno and Modena and part of the Mantua on the south bank of the Po). Scotch Whisky is a well known GI (made from malt/grain in Scotland).
Having goods protected under a GI stops inferior or different products being marketed using the geographical indicators to gain market share.
In Australia we have two systems for registration: (1) goods using the certification trade mark system (CTM) administered by IP Australia and (2) wines administered by Wine Australia.
The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) is the relevant legislation for CTMs and the Wine Australia Act 2013 (Cth) looks after wines.
A GI registration lasts 10 years from the filing date and can be renewed every 10 years.
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) currently has a virtual exhibition on Geographical Indications (ends 31 July 2022). You can visit the exhibition at: WIPO Geographical Indications Exhibition.