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Geographical indications and Designations of Origin

According to Article 180 of the law, the geographical indication is "any indication aimed at identifying a product as originally from a territory, region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the product is essentially attributed to its geographical origin..."

Moreover, Article 181 defines the appellation of origin as "the geographical name of a country, region or locality that serves to designate a product originating therein, of which the quality, reputation or other specified characteristics are due exclusively to the geographical environment, including natural factors and human factors."

Thus, all producers of this place benefit from the protection reserved for designations of origin, provided they respect the standards for protection."
Unlike the brand, geographical indications do not influence services, especially as they are not governed by the rules of the imitation.
GI and AO have important benefits for producers and customers. In the presence of a product with unique qualities depending on its geographical origin, the establishment of a GI can have a positive impact on the social level.

  • The GI is a marketing tool: Proper use of the GI would convert this potential into marketable products on international markets. In addition, developing countries have a competitive advantage in sectors of intensive labor, such as agriculture and crafts. The implementation of GI in these areas offers producers in developing countries the possibility to position themselves on a segment of agricultural and handicraft products of high quality. Many cases of geographical names already protected in their country of origin, or on the verge of being recognized as the "Colombian coffee", "Arganoin" of the Moroccan region of Souss Massa Draa, the "PhuQuoc" of Vietnam, "Blue Mountain Coffee" Jamaica, etc.
  • GI positively affects other economic sectors: GI have huge advantages over benefits they generate in the economy as a whole (job creation opportunities in other sectors such as tourism, brake rural exodus), protection of the environment, gender issues, the preservation of traditional knowledge and biodiversity, etc.. These issues are of strategic importance for developing countries.
  • GI avoids the phenomenon of offshoring: Another asset is the GI obstacle they pose to the phenomenon of delocalization of production. Indeed, a GI can be produced only in a defined territory which gives the product-because of climate or human factors* unique characteristics.
  • GI is a collective right: Unlike other industrial property rights that are assigned to an individual, the IG is assigned to all producers in a given area that meet a set of specifications. In this sense, the IG is an advantage for small producers in terms of cost and does not require renewal.

Unlike patents, the IG is not an exclusive right. Producers of Souss Argan Oil are not allowed, nor wish, to prevent competition with other oil producers. The right conferred by the IG is limited to prohibit competitors outside the geographical area (or those within the recorded area and which do not meet the specifications) to use the name "Argan" for their products.

In the market, the GI and AO is an opportunity to promote competitive behavior among producers interested in product differentiation on the basis of quality.

Link to the National Register of GI / AO