Geographical indications and environmental protection

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The protection of geographical indications (hereinafter “GIs”) is required by all members of the World Trade Organization (hereinafter “WTO”), as this is mandated by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter “TRIPS”). Among the primary justifications for the protection of GIs is to enable producers to secure the premium prices which are attracted by products which have a unique quality that is attributable to their place of production. As this article points out, one reason for this premium price, in the case of agricultural products is that traditionally produced goods are often free from contaminants, such as herbicides and pesticides. Not previously discussed in the literature is the fact that from an environmental protection perspective, GIs applied to agricultural products provides some consumer confidence in their purity, as well as in their traceability. In securing higher returns for agricultural producers, GIs play an important role in securing rural development and the maintenance of rural landscapes. Finally, the article points out that the international GIs regime provides an important means of protecting the traditional knowledge of agricultural producers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162–173
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers of Law in China: selected publications from chinese Universities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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