The Economic Effects of Geographical Indications on Developing Countries: A Review and Identification of Research Needs

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Policy makers in both developed and developing countries have identified Geographical Indications (GIs) as a potential mechanism to assist primarily the agriculture sector in developing countries by reducing supply competition for traditional products while raising/standardizing the quality of those products. The perception seems to be that benefits will flow primarily to smallholders in local communities, but the correctness of that assumption, which is to say the projection of the distribution of benefits from the use of GIs, has to date not been analyzed empirically. Studies investigating the economic impact of well functioning GIs from developed countries are limited. Most of the very few studies available on the impact of GIs for developing countries are semi-analytical in nature or are the works of legal scholars. In this chapter we survey the available literature on GIs and related geographical origin systems with particular emphasis on international markets. Findings from this study will provide better insights for policy makers in developing countries while negotiating with developed country counterparts at international settings, and also while implementing Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property System (TRIPs) mandated GI protection. Further, such a review will help us to identify the issues that need to be addressed in future studies.

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The WIPO Journal





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