The protection of Geographical Indications in ASEAN community

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Tanatthep Tianprasit


Geographical Indications have originated from linking between natures and man that is people use specific geographical locations (e.g. district, province, or region) to indicate an origin, quality or to protect reputation of their products. In fact, for many products, location or area of product becomes the most important factor because the product which is produced in some area will have better quality than product from other area. For example, a watch which is made in Switzerland, leather from Italy or perfume from France. Therefore, manufacturers of watches, leathers or perfumes in these areas would like to advertise that their products are made in Switzerland, Italy or France to persuade consumers to buy their products. Moreover, some countries or some regions become the birthplace of reputation goods or products because some area in these countries or regions have geographical locations, weather or environment which assist to increase quantity or quality of the products more than any other locations. Most of products as stated are spirits, beer, wine, juice or mineral water.

According to the reputation or quality of these geographical indication products, manufacturers of the same products from outside the area try to use geographical indication in misusing cases to their advantage. The misusing of geographical indications which always happen is the user of geographical indications who have no right to use that geographical indications but claim that their products are the same products or same quality as the original products which are made in the area of geographical locations. Therefore, the countries of origin of the geographical indication products try to protect their geographical indications from misusing.

ASEAN Community is one community which keeps an eye on the advantage of the protection of geographical indication closely because all countries of this community know that they have their own typical geographical location and want to add value to their distinctive products, thus the protection of geographical indication is one of the best answer to increase product value and improve livelihood of their people. Nevertheless, there are many problems on Geographical Indications for ASEAN Community to solve.

This Article will analyses the protections and problems of geographical indications in ASEAN Community and suggests the right solutions for ASEAN Community to improve the protection of their geographical indications in the future.


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