Considerations in Designing an Appropriate Legal Framework for GIs in Southern Countries

  • Cerkia BramleyEmail author
  • Delphine Marie-Vivien
  • Estelle Biénabe


In the context of the international debate on geographical indication protection, this chapter reflects on considerations in the design of an appropriate institutional framework for the protection of GIs in Southern countries. The discussion provides an analytical review of two divergent institutional frameworks, comparing in particular the EU sui generis framework with GI protection under US trade mark laws. Drawing on the comparison, the discussion explores some key considerations in designing an appropriate institutional framework for GI protection. The theoretical discussion is empirically grounded primarily on the case of South Africa, as a country with no formal recognition of GIs but which has in recent years seen strong industry initiative in obtaining GI protection within the existing legal framework. The discussion explores the current South African legal framework and through the experience of the Karoo Lamb and Rooibos cases, the particular challenges the existing legal framework presents. The case studies are used to contextualise the theoretical insights into key considerations for the development of an appropriate institutional framework for GIs in Southern countries. The discussion is enriched with insights from institutional developments in India.


Geographical indications TRIPS agreement Trade marks South Africa India Rooibos Karoo lamb 


  1. Addor F, Grazioli A (2002) Geographical indications beyond wines and spirits: a roadmap for better protection for geographical indications in the WTO TRIPS agreement. J World Intellect Prop 5(6):865–897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alavoine-Mornas F (1997) Fruits and vegetables of typical local areas: consumers’ perceptions and valorisation strategies through distributors and producers. In: Arfini F, Mora C (eds) Typical and traditional products: rural effect and agro-industrial problems (1998). 52nd EAAE seminar proceedings, Parma, 19–21 JuneGoogle Scholar
  3. Balganesh S (2003) Systems of protection for geographical indications of origin: a review of the Indian regulatory framework. J World Intellect Prop 6(1):191–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belletti G (2000) Origin labelled products, reputation and etherogeneity of firms. In: Sylvander B, Barjolle D, Arfini F (eds) (2000) The socio-economics of origin labelled products in agro-food supply chains: spatial, institutional and co-ordination aspects. Series Actes et Communications 17(1). INRA, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Belletti G, Marescotti A (2002) OLP’s and rural development strategies. Dolphins report, Introductory notes for Paris WP 3 meeting, 6–7 MayGoogle Scholar
  6. Biénabe E, Leclercq M, Moity Maizi P (2009) Le rooibos d'Afrique du Sud: comment la biodiversité s'invite dans la construction d'une indication géographique. Autrepart 50:117–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bramley C, Biénabe E (2012) Developments and considerations around geographical indications in the developing world. Queen Mary J Intellect Prop 2(1):14–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Evans GE (2010) The strategic exploitation of geographical indications and community trade marks for the marketing of agricultural products in the European Union. WIPO J 1(2):159–179Google Scholar
  9. Gandjee D (2012) Relocating the law of geographical indications. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Giovannucci D, Josling T, Kerr W, O’Connor B, Yeung MT (2009) Guide to geographical indications: linking products and their origins. International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva. Online at:
  11. Hughes J (2009) Coffee and chocolate: can we help developing country farmers through geographical indications? Report prepared for the International Intellectual Property Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  12. Le Goffic C (2009) La protection des indications géographiques en France, dans la Communauté Européenne et aux Etats Unis, Université Paris 2 Panthéon Assas. Ph.D. thesis, 9 Dec 2009, 567Google Scholar
  13. Marette S, Clemens R, Badcock B (2008) Recent international and regulatory decisions about geographical indications. Agribusiness 24(4):453–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marie-Vivien D (2008) From plant variety definition to geographical indication protection: a search for the link between Basmati rice and India/Pakistan. J World Intellect Prop 11(4):321–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marie-Vivien D (2010) The role of the state in the protection of geographical indications: from disengagement in France/Europe to significant involvement in India. J World Intellect Prop 13(2):121–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marie-Vivien D, Biénabe E (2012) Geographical indications for agricultural and handicraft goods: the strength of the link to the origin as a criterion. Perspective (17), Policy brief serie, Cirad, MayGoogle Scholar
  17. Rangnekar D, Kumar S (2010) Another look at Basmati: genericity and the problems of a transborder geographical indication. J World Intellect Prop 13(2):202–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tregear A, Giraud G (2011) Geographical indications, consumers and citizens. In: Barham E, Sylvander B (eds) Labels of origin for food: local development, global recognition. CABI, Wallingford, pp 63–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Thiedig F, Sylvander B (2000) Welcome to the club? An economical approach to geographical indications in the European Union. Agrarwirtschaft 49:428Google Scholar
  20. Torres A (2002). Les regroupments localizes de producteurs dans le domaine agro-alimentaire: entre coopérations et régles formelles. In: Délégation a l’agriculture, au développment et a la prospective D.A.P.P. Recherches pour et sur le développment territorial. Montpellier symposium, 11–12 Jan, ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. USPTO (2012) Geographical indication protection in the United States.…/pdf/gi_system.pdf. Accessed 1 Nov 2012
  22. WIPO (2009) Submission by the United States. Certification and collective marks formalities. February 2009. Accessed 15 Sept 2012

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cerkia Bramley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Delphine Marie-Vivien
    • 2
  • Estelle Biénabe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.CIRAD, UMR InnovationMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.French Research Centre on Agriculture for Development (CIRAD), UMR InnovationMontpellierFrance

Personalised recommendations