Geographical Indications, Food, and Culture
Over the past two decades, geographical indications (henceforth GIs) have been at the center of a tensed international debate. Favoring their enforcement, some argue that GIs comprise the best legal tool for defending regional culinary cultures, including those of emerging countries, whose producers have little means for independently claiming reward for their most original work; thus, as noted in a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) study, GIs “reward producers that maintain a traditional high standard of quality, while at the same time allowing flexibility for innovation and improvement in the context of that tradition” (Downes and Laird 1999, p. 6). On the other hand, major international corporations – voicing their position especially within the WTO (Handler 2006) – have stressed that GIs create monopolistic opportunities, obstacolating free trade around the globe. Further criticisms, finally,...
KeywordsIntellectual Property Traditional Ecological Knowledge Specific Environmental Condition Geographical Indication TRIPs Agreement
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