Understanding Geographical Indication: A Valuable Intellectual Property Right
Geographical Indication (GI) stands as a robust form of intellectual property rights that delineates a product’s origin to a specific area. This association with a particular region attributes the product’s quality or reputation to its birthplace. Remarkable examples like Darjeeling tea, Basmati Rice, Cuban Cigars, and Swiss watches are all esteemed Geographical Indication products, renowned for their quality linked to their origins.
Significance of Geographical Indications
These GIs serve as pivotal marketing tools, elevating the value and competitiveness of products on both national and global scales. Moreover, they contribute substantially to regional economies by augmenting the income of local producers and fostering employment opportunities within the region.
Legal Protection of Geographical Indications
Under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), member states are obligated to safeguard Geographical Indications against misappropriation. Countries deploy various regimes such as sui generis GI laws, Trademarks laws, and Competition laws. The prevailing trend leans toward standalone GI legislations for comprehensive protection.
Geographical Indication Protection in Pakistan
Presently, Pakistan protects Geographical Indications through collective marks under the Trademark Ordinance of 2001. However, Pakistan’s diverse geography, climate, culture, and traditions offer a plethora of products eligible for GI protection.
Proposed Geographical Indication Law in Pakistan
In alignment with global best practices, Pakistan’s Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) has crafted a sui generis Geographical Indication Law. This law aims to safeguard and register Geographical Indications within the country.
Key Features of the Draft Law
The proposed law introduces a system wherein associations or public bodies can acquire GI titles for various goods, spanning from natural to agricultural and traditional to manufactured products. Upon registration, all stakeholders within the specified area can become authorized users of the GI, subject to compliance with product specifications certified by a third-party body. Additionally, the draft law outlines the scope and duration of protection, registration prerequisites, revocation processes, penalties for offenses, the interplay between trademarks and GIs, and associated legal matters.
For those seeking brand trademark registration, copyright protection, patent registration, or other related services in Pakistan or globally, we offer comprehensive assistance. Our services encompass trademark opposition, rectification against registered trademarks, legal notices against infringers, and filing suits for infringement.