Many producers around the world use geographical indication as indication of quality and origin of the product. This sign mostly posess the positive reputation and thus adds more value to the product and by that it gives you competitive advantage and strenghtens your brand.
What is geographical indication?
The geographical indication is a sign used on product to show the specific quality or reputation that are present thanks to to the geographical origin of the product. In other words, special quality or reputation of the product must depend on the geographical place of production.
Typical products protected by geographical indications are mineral waters, wines, spirit drinks, food, agricultural products and handicrafts.
Registration of geographical indication is provided through special systems of protection. Some regions such as European Unio have regional register of geographical indications. There is also an option to obtain protection through international Lisbon Agreement system.
Yes, most countries provide the special system for protection of geographical indications. Some regions such as EU have regional register of geographical indications. There is also an option to obtain protection through international Lisbon Agreement system.
Producers are also registering their geographical indications as collective or certification trademarks, however these signs are no geographical indications according to law but they posess the protection under trademark law.
In order to register geographical indication you must be a group of producers of a geographicaly specific product. Some countries allows state/government authority to register geographical indication.
You can prohibit the use of geographical indication by third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards of protected geographical indication. Basicaly the rightful producers of original product protected by geographical indication can exclude other parties from using the sign if they do not meet certain standards. These standards can be planting practice, gathering practice, quality level etc.
In most countries there is no set time period of protection, so the protection can last for indefinite period of time as long as the geographical indication is registered.
Main difference is that while trademark owner can exclude third parties from using his trademarked sign in business even if this third party creates the exactly same product, the producers of product protected by geographical indication can not prevent someone from making and selling a product using same standards as they do. So if the third party meets the criteria set for usage (such as quality and features of the product) of geographical indication, it can rightfuly use the geographical indication sign on their product.
You also can not transfer your right to use geographical indication of product or licence it.