Where does it come from? Geography and IP

Trademarks are the form of intellectual property that tells customers who makes a product, and gives some assurance that you'll get what you're expecting. But those products could be made anywhere in the world, in any proper production facility. If you care about the particular geographic location that supplies the goods you're buying, you're looking for a particular kind of source indicator. For example, tequila is a Mexican designation of origin product. In the US and Canada, it's protected by NAFTA; even before that, it was registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The World Intellectual Property Organization oversees the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin and defines an “appellation of origin” as “the geographical denomination of a country, region, or locality, which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality or characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors”. Other geographically specific items include Champagne (made elsewhere, it's sparkling wine) and Parmigiano-Reggiano (similar cheeses sold in the United States are parmesan).

In the United States, the trademark system protects marks that are geographical indications, so they are applied for through the same trademark application system. This list of frequently asked questions is a good place to start learning more about geographical indications.

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