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Geographical Indications & Certification Marks

What if a technology encompasses something greater than a single product or is special because of its geographic orientation?

In these cases, we have found that a robust method to capitalize on the uniqueness of a particular process innovation or regional product is to encompass the innovation or agribusiness within a coherent framework that is both well-recognized and that can be legally enforced.

We teach our students how best to envision, structure, prepare and develop their previously established or new products to create reliable and enforceable geographical indications and certified marks. The use of geographical indications and certification marks are well-established methods to achieve protection against market predators.

Geographical Indications

A geographical indication is a mark that states a product’s geographic origin. Geographical indications are quite useful within the context of agribusiness. A geographical indication is used to preclude competition by organizations that are located outside the geographic territory in which the indicated product is produced.

Good examples are the geographical indications established for the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France. These geographical indications are well-known and strictly enforced against organizations that attempt to take an economic advantage from cheaper production or shipping costs outside the well-established geographically indicated territory.

In short, a geographical indication is a mark that labels the geographic authenticity of a product. In the U.S., a geographic indication strategy is employed with the intellectual property tool of Certification Marks.

Certification Marks

A certification mark is similar to a geographic-indication in that a Certification Mark protects the producers of certified products from outside competition.

A certification mark protects a group of producers who use relatively identical methods for producing a single type of product. For example, although whiskey is produced throughout Scotland, single malt whiskey is a well-known kind of whiskey production that is regulated by the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009. Scotch single malt whiskey provides an excellent example of both a well-established geographic indication and a tightly controlled and enforced certified product.

When students complete our Geographical Indications and Certification Marks course, they understand how to use geographical indications and certification marks to best capture the value of their agricultural innovations and products.

Contact BioProperty Strategy Group today by email or at (607) 229-0802 for more information concerning how you or your organization can participate in one of our upcoming Market Research and Business Planning, Technology Licensing, Geographical Indications & Certification Marks or New Product Development and Material Transfer Agreements seminars to advance your process innovation, new product development process or agribusiness.