A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that come from a particular geographical location and which possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic linked to that location.
In New Zealand, GIs can be registered for local and international wines and spirits.
GIs help “brand” a product and differentiate it from other products in the market. They assure consumers that the product is authentic and has specific characteristics due to its origin.
Typically a GI is the place name from which the product originates. For example, the name Champagne properly refers to sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region in France.
Unlike most other intellectual property rights, GIs are collective rights – there is no “owner” as such, as there is with a trade mark. Any trader who complies with the provisions governing the use of the GI (including any registration conditions) is entitled to use it.