A geographical indication (GI) is a designation used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that origin. The origin can be a locality, region or possibly a country. The production of GI products is subject to certification requirements.
GI's can have great commercial value and can be exposed to infringement/counterfeiting and are therefore protected.
The agricultural and food sector of the EU operates with the following three schemes;
- Protected Designations of Origin, abbreviated as "PDO" (in Danish BOB). The designation covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognized knowhow.
- Protected Geographical Indication, abbreviated as "PGI" (in Danish BGB). The designation covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the area.
- Traditional Specialty Guaranteed, abbreviated as "TSG" (in Danish GTS). The designation highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.
In the EU geographical indications are regulated by the following four regulations:
- Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on the quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs
- Regulation (EC) No 110 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labeling and protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 laying down certain rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) 479/2008 as regards protected designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector products
Violation of the regulations is punishable by fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years. Criminal provisions are set out in Executive Order No. 1376 of 6 December 2013 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
For more information on the four EU Regulations, see the website of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
Under certain conditions geographical indications can also be registered as collective marks pursuant to the Act on collective marks. For further information on this subject see the website of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office.