Geographical Indications Law and Legal Definition

Geographical indications are the aspect of industrial property which refers to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place as the country or place of origin of that product. Normally, such a name conveys an assurance of quality, reputation, and distinctiveness that is attributable to the place of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.

Generally, geographical indications are intended to designate product quality, highlight brand identity, and preserve cultural traditions. Examples of well-known geographical indications include Champagne, Florida oranges, Idaho potatoes, and Washington State apples. Geographical indications are also used to identify any product. For example, Czech crystal, Swiss watches, and Indian carpets that are associated with a specific geographic place.

Geographical indications serve the same functions as trademarks. Geographic indications are: 1) source-identifiers, 2) guarantees of quality, and 3) valuable business interests. In the U.S., geographical indications are usually protected by certification and collective marks.