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What are geographical indications?

Place names that identify the origin of a product are called 'geographical indications'. While not strictly an intellectual property right, they sometimes resemble trademarks.

When a geographical indication is available and used in relation to a product, it indicates the origin of the product, and communicates to a consumer the quality, reputation or other characteristics of products from that geographical origin.

Often, for a product to be permitted to be branded as a geographical indication, it must do more than originate from the geographical region. In addition, it must meet certain minimum quality, or ingredient, production, or other requirements.

Examples of geographical indications

There are many examples of geographical indications from all over the world.

Product Geographical region associated with that product Quality, reputation or other characteristic that is protected
Scotch whisky Scotland The reputation and quality of Scottish whiskies
Bohemian crystal The Bohemia region within the Czech Republic The reputation of crystal manufactured in the region
Camembert cheese Town of Camembert in Normandy, France The reputation and distinctiveness of this soft cheese
Darjeeling tea Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India The reputation and distinctiveness of this tea

In Australia, some examples of geographical indications are:

Product Geographical region associated with that product Quality, reputation or other characteristic that is protected
Bundaberg rum Bundaberg, Queensland The reputation of this producer
Australian wine A specific wine growing region such as the
Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, Margaret River, etc.
The reputation of each respective wine growing region
King Island cheese King Island in the Bass Strait The reputation of cheeses from this cheese producer
Bega cheese Town of Bega in New South Wales The reputation of cheeses from producers in this region