One of the most hotly contested legal debates in international intellectual property law today concerns geographical indications (GIs) and appellations of origin (AOOs), referred to herein using the umbrella term “indication of origin” (IO). Central to the debate are two different systems for IOs—the sui generis system of AOOs and the like promoted by IO advocates like the EU (generally civil law jurisdictions) and the system promoted by IO skeptics like the US (generally common law jurisdictions) under which GIs are subsumed within a pre-existing trademark system. These divergent IO systems are manifestations of deepening fragmentation in the international IO order, which has led to a deadlock in international IO law. Although key international agreements dealing with IOs have sought to “bridge the gap” between the two systems by permitting signatories to protect IOs under either system, this article finds that there is an inherent, irreconcilable tension between the two systems, making the gap unbridgeable. The article concludes that it is in the interests of all that a sui generis and limited system of AOO protection be adopted within an international, harmonized framework. By contrast, trademark-based GIs ought to be allowed to wither on the vine.
Benjamin R. Hopper,
Whither (Wither?) Geographical Indications? The Case Against Geographical Indications and For Appellations of Origin in an Era of Glocalization,
Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/ckjip/vol16/iss1/9