geographical_indication

geographical_indication - Geographical Indications (GIs)...

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Geographical Indications (GIs) Global Intellectual Property Academy Nancy Omelko—Attorney-Advisor (Trademarks) Office of Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement United States Patent and Trademark Office
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What are geographical indications? Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) (1994) defines geographical  indication as a product from a region where a given quality, reputation or other  characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical  origin.”
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Trademarks and Geographical Indications The United States view is that a geographical  indication is a type of trademark.  A sign functions as a trademark/geographical  indication if that sign:  If it is distinctive; and If it indicates that the product originates from a  particular  source.  
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Words that are generic or that merely describe the product are not distinctive For example, “apple” to identify apples is a generic  term and is not distinctive.  (But note that APPLE  certainly is distinctive if it is used to identify  another product, like a computer). For example, “fast” to identify restaurant services  is merely descriptive of the services and not  distinctive.  (But “fast” for apples is distinctive.) It depends on which product or service the  mark/geographical indication is used on.
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Acquired Distinctiveness But although a sign that is not distinctive  does not function as a trademark, that is  not the case if that sign  acquires  distinctiveness  in the minds of consumers.   A distinctive term can be a  trademark/geographical indication if  consumers come to associate the term  with a particular source. Generic terms may never acquire  distinctiveness.
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Business Interests/Guarantees More generally, in addition to  functioning as source identifiers,  geographical indications and other  trademarks also share the following  characteristics: Both are valuable business interests; and Both are guarantees of quality.
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Protection of GIs in US The US protects geographical  indications through the same system  that it uses to protect other trademarks. Typically, geographical indications are  registered as  certification marks  in the  United States.
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Certification Marks for Origin A certification mark is owned by a party  other than the user(s) of the mark is used to certify that the goods  originate in a particular location and, because of the characteristics of  that location, have reputation.
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Examples of GIs registered in the US
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Benefits Owner and Consumer For the owner—is a (possibly very  valuable) intangible economic asset. For the purchaser—conveys (possibly very 
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geographical_indication - Geographical Indications (GIs)...

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