Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan

Geographical Indication

A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used in relation to products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or reputation essentially due to natural and human factors of place of origin e-g Basmati Rice, Sport goods of Sailkot, Sargodha Kinnow, Multan Mango.

What type of products can be protected as Geographical indications?

Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.

What is the difference between a Geographical indication and a Trademark?

A Geographical indication identifies a good as originating from a specific area while a trademark identifies a good or service as originating from a particular company.

A trademark often consists of a fanciful or arbitrary sign. By contrast, the name used as a geographical indication usually includes the name of a geographical area.

Moreover, as a trademark belong to a specific company so it can be assigned or licensed to anyone, anywhere in the world, because it is not linked to a particular place. In contrast, a GI may be used by key players of supply chain of GI product in the area of origin subject to compliance with specified standards, but because of its link with the place of origin, a GI cannot be assigned or licensed to someone outside that place or not belonging to the group of authorized producers.

Who can get protection of Geographical Indication?

The entitlement to get a Geographical Indication protection varies from country to country. However, usually an association of producers or any concerned Public body may get protection for Geographical Indication. 

Who can use a protected geographical indication?

The right to use a protected geographical indication belongs to all key players of supply chain of GI Product in the geographical area defined subject to compliance with specific conditions of production for the product.

What is the Protection mechanism of GIs in Pakistan?

Currently, Geographical Indications can be protected as collective/certification mark under Trade Marks Ordinance, 2001. However, in line with consultation with stakeholders and global best practices, IPO Pakistan has drafted an independent Geographical Indication Protection Law. The Draft GI Law after consultation with stakeholders has been sent to the Ministry of Commerce for its early enactment by the Federal Government.

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