Accueil > Taste, Culture & Style: Geographical Indications from a Transatlantic Perspective

BCUL 1660A - Taste, Culture & Style: Geographical Indications from a Trans-Atlantic Perspective

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

In today's globalized world, it's not what we drink, eat or use that matters the most, rather it is the origin of the products we consume or use. The choice of the products reflects our lifestyle, class, taste, culture and living standards. Considering the global supply chain, how can a food product be considered as 'local'? Is it possible to maintain 'sense of place' (Terrior) in a technological age, diverse community, climate change etc.? The Geographical Indications (GIs) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In other words, GIs are the name of the place, geographical origin, location, and region, associated with goods. The branding of geographical indication shape consumer's actions and opinions about their desire of products and becomes a valuable marketing tool to promote local culture. Geographical Indication holds a strong linkage between region, history, cultural development and climatic condition, making it a very personal connection and reputation to the community at large. The consumer communicates with farmers through the geographical indication which assures that the foods are locally produced. Similarly, the ability of GIs in creating a market value for the products resulting in lucrative sales and high prices makes it an important tool to promote local products at global level. The growing choice of goods across the borders has penetrated well into the international trading system. The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement have integrated geographical indication with the trade and remains to be controversial at international trade. There are two different approaches in protecting geographical indication. The EU has sui generis model to register and protected Geographical Indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs, wine, spirit and aromatised wine. On the other hand, the U.S. protects geographical indication in the form of trademark, mainly as certification marks. Moreover, the EU is moving a step ahead to ensure the protection of the traditional cultural expression through extension of geographical indication protection to non-agricultural products. Nevertheless, there is always a tension between trademark and geographical indication. Theoretically, it may be argued that the foundation of both the system remains same but in terms of legal status, both are treated differently. This course will examine the concepts of geographical indications and its rural, cultural and economic importance to the Country. Moreover, through examining the case law and current ongoing real world trade negotiation as a case study will aware the position and contemporary issues and concerns related to geographical indications.


UPRETI, Pratyush Nath (PhD student)

Additional required reading

  • Kal Raustialia and Stephen R. Munzer, ‘The Global Struggle over Geographical Indications ‘The European Journal of International Law (2007) Vol 18, No 2
  • Ruth L. Okedui, The International Intellectual Property Roots of Geographical Indications, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol 82 (2007)
  • Daniele Giovannucci, Elizabeth Barham, Richard Pirog, ‘Defining and Marketing ‘Local' Foods: Geographical Indications for U.S. Products, The Journal of World Intellectual Property
  • Antony Taubman, ‘Thinking Locally, Acting Globally: How Trade Negotiations Over Geographical Indications Improvise ‘Fair Trade' Rules ‘, in Dev S. Gangjee (eds) Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications (2016) Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Anselm Kamperman Sanders, ‘Geographical Indications of Origin: When GIs Become Commodities, All Gloves Come Off' International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (2015) Vol 46, Issue 7
  • Sanjeev Agarwal and Michael J. Barone, ‘Emerging Issues for Geographical Indications Branding Strategies, Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) Iowa State University, 2005.
  • Justin M. Waggoner, ‘Acquiring a European Taste for Geographical Indications (2007)