A geographical indication is a name of a geographical place, or, in exceptional cases, a sign which indicates a certain geographical area (the name of a place or some other designation indicating it) and is used to designate the goods, the specific quality or reputation of which are due to the geographical environment and human factors of that area.
The purpose of a geographical indication derives from its definition. It indicates the place which determines the characteristic features of the goods originating from there, therefore the purpose of a geographical indication is to inform consumers about the origin of the product and the characteristics linked with the place of origin.
Geographical indications may be used for any types of goods, though nowadays they are most widely used in the production of agricultural products and primarily wine.
An appellation of origin is a special variety of geographical indication. Unlike a geographical indication, an appellation of origin can be only the name of a geographical place and it can be used to designate such goods, the specific (and not definite) quality and features of which are essentially or exclusively due to the particular geographical environment and human factors. Along with this, the entire cycle linked with the production of goods must take place only within that particular geographical area.
Thus, the notion of geographical indication is more general and it fully covers the notion of appellation of origin.
A trademark is a sign used by legal entities or individuals in order to distinguish their goods or services from the goods and services of other undertakings. Whereas a geographical indication indicates that the product is made at a certain place and has specific features that are due to the place of production.
A trademark owner has the exclusive right to prohibit the unlawful use of his/her trademark by third parties, whereas a geographical indication may be used by any entrepreneur, who produces the goods at the place designated by the geographical indication and the characteristics of whose goods satisfy the established requirements.
A name or any other sign shall not be registered as an appellation of origin or a geographical indication, where it:
A geographical indication cannot become a “generic name”!
Following acts are prohibited:
An application together with the attached materials for the registration of a geographical indication shall be filed in Sakpatenti directly by an applicant or his/her representative.
The application shall be filed on a paper form or electronically in the Georgian language and shall refer to one appellation of origin or geographical indication.
The application shall include:
The following shall be attached to an application:
1. A document approved by the body authorized by the legislation, which includes:
2. the document issued by the local administrative body confirming the geographical origin of the goods;
3. a power of attorney confirming authorization of a representative.
Confirmation of the data, which a document attached to an application shall include, is linked with comprehensive research with the participation of a wide circle of highly qualified specialists. Naturally, they are selected from specialists of the branch to which the goods to be designated by the geographical indication belong. Therefore, as a rule, legislation forms as the authorized body a respective branch ministry.
In the field of agriculture and alcoholic beverages the authorized body is the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
On an application filed with Sakpatenti shall be carried out examination of formalities and substantive examination.
At the stage of examination of formalities, Sakpatenti checks whether the application complies with the requirements of the law.
At the stage of substantive examination:
If on the basis of substantive examination it is established that there do not exist grounds for refusal of the registration of a geographical indication, Sakpatenti publishes the application materials in the Bulletin, in one central and one local newspaper.
If within 3 months after the publication of the application materials additional information is submitted to Sakpatenti, this information shall be sent for consideration to the respective branch ministry.
In case if no information is submitted within 3 months from the publication of the application materials, Sakpatenti takes the decision on the registration of the geographical indication, enters the data contained in the application materials in the Register and publishes the information about this in the Bulletin.
The registration of a geographical indication is perpetual.
The registration of a geographical indication may be cancelled if due to changing or disappearing of natural or human factors specific for the given geographical area it becomes impossible to produce such goods which would have the quality and features indicated in the Register.
Any natural person or legal entity, which obtains or processes raw materials or which has a registered functioning enterprise within the boundaries of the respective geographical area, and the specific quality and features of the produced goods are the same as the specific quality and features recorded in the Register and has the consent of the body authorized by the legislation, may file an application in Sakpatenti for his/her registration as the person entitled to use the registered appellation of origin or geographical indication.
Sakpatenti enters the data on the natural person or legal entity entitled to use the geographical indication in the Register.
The right of use may be revised according to the rule and with the periodicity determined by the body authorized by the legislation.
An appellation of origin of goods or a geographical indication of a foreign country is protected on the basis of an interstate agreement.
An appellation of origin and a geographical indication protected under an interstate agreement is registered at Sakpatenti.
Information regarding foreign Appellations of Origin of Goods and Geographical indications protected in Georgia is available at - http://www.sakpatenti.gov.ge/en/page/112/.
Information regarding Appellations of Origin protected through the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (Lisbon Agreement) is available at - http://www.wipo.int/ipdl/en/search/lisbon/search-struct.jsp.
It is possible to protect a Georgian appellation of origin of goods or a geographical indication abroad only after its recognition or registration as such in Georgia.
It is also possible:
Information regarding Geographical Indications protected abroad is available at - http://www.sakpatenti.gov.ge/en/page/113/.
The protection of geographical indications on the international level are provided for by three multilateral agreements administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These are: the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention), the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods (Madrid Agreement) and the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (Lisbon Agreement).
Along with this the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) covers the international protection of geographical indications.
Georgia is a party to all the above-mentioned treaties, except the Madrid Agreement.
In addition, in some countries, the legislation of which does not regard geographical indications as subject-matter of legal protection (e.g. USA), their protection is possible as certification marks. For instance, Georgian Appellations of Origin among them “Kindzmarauli” and “Khvanchkara” are protected in the USA as certification marks.
The relations linked with the registration, protection and use of appellations of origin of goods and geographical indications are regulated on the basis of the following normative acts:
Infringement of rights on Appellations of Origin of Goods and Geographical Indications shall cause civil, administrative and criminal liability.