Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify inherent deficiencies of the geographical indications (GIs) as protective brands adding to the premium value of the products as compared to the protection guaranteed to brands under the trademark route. Whereas the former protects the attributes of the goods, the latter adds to the brand equity of the goods. The paper attempts to find means to assign a strong visible identity that creates a premium visibility for GIs to help them emerge as strong brands just like the brands envisaged for the trademarks. Design/methodology/approach – This is a qualitative research based on primary and secondary source of information. Secondary sources comprise statutory provisions of two main acts on GIs and trademarks, articles/news items available in academic/trade journals and information generated from Government of India websites. Primary research involved face-to-face interactions with practicing advocates and select holders of GIs. Information was collected on parameters related to efficacy, applicability, enforceability, monitoring, marketability and legal issues of GIs and trademarks. Findings – Though the GI Act was enacted to improve the commercial prospects of manufactured/grown outputs by entities based in a particular geographical limit, it has not delivered to the extent it was expected. The GI product still faces the challenges of poor awareness, fratricidal competition and threat of ingenuine products. The same concept under the trademarks is adequately promoted and protected by ensuring visibility through the logos. And hence, the same can be made mandatorily under the grant of GIs. Originality/value – Most of the research done so far on GIs is from a legal perspective. It is perhaps the first work on the theme that takes up the cross-functional approach and explores adding a marketing dimension to a concept that was considered only under the domain of law. The article tries to assimilate best of both the worlds in terms of legal protection and marketing appeal for the geographical indicators.
International Journal of Law and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 4, 2014