2. Certification trade marks and geographical indications (GIs)

Date Published

Under the TRIPS agreement, Australia is obliged to provide a mechanism for the protection of Geographic Indications (GIs) in Australia. There are two ways to protect GIs in Australia:

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2.1 What are geographical indications (GIs)

Section 6 of the Act defines a GI in relation to goods as:

a sign that identifies the goods as originating in a country, or in a region or locality in that country, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the goods is essentially attributable to their geographical origin.

The following are examples of GIs for cheese:

  • Stilton
  • Roquefort
  • Grana Padano
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Each of these types of cheese come from specific regions in Europe. The unique characteristics of each cheese is due to the specific recipes and regions where they are produced.


2.2 Registration of GIs as certification trade marks

The certification trade mark provisions are the principle way to protect a GI in Australia. As with other certification trade marks, GIs must meet the requirements of the Act relating to certification trade marks.  

TEQUILA (1377413) is an example of a GI protected in Australia by registration as a certification trade mark.