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  • Writer's pictureTodd

What do Feta cheese, Idaho potatoes, and Murano glass have in common?

A Protected Geographical Indication (or GI) protects goods from misuse or imitation where at least one stage of production, processing, or production takes place in a particular region and follows a particular process.


Categories of GIs can include wine, spirit drinks, foodstuffs, and agricultural products.


·      Beer from Munich, Germany

·      Marzipan from Lübecker

·      Queso Manchego from Spain

·      Feta cheese from Greece

·      Munster cheese from France

·      Sour cabbage from Croatia

·      Salami from Hungary

·      Prosciutto Toscana from Italy


Here are some examples of GI spirits in the European Union:

·      Cognac from France

·      Marc de Champagne from France

·      Irish Cream from Ireland


GIs can be found in other countries as well:

·      Yamagata Wine in Japan

·      Shiga Sake in Japan

·      A dessert made from winter pumpkin in Turkey

·      A mother of pearl ornamentation technique from 4000 B.C. is a GI in Turkey


·      Florida for oranges

·      Idaho for potatoes

·      Vidalia for onions

·      Washington State for apples


It was reported that the first GI protected in China was Cognac. Ford Automobile (China) wanted to name a car COGNAC SPECIAL EDITION. A Chinese Court found that Ford was liable for unfair competition.


The European Union recently revised GI law to allow for craft and industrial products. This can include jewelry, woodwork, textiles, etc. There must be a link between the product’s reputation and the geographical area of production.


When my wife and I went to Venice on our honeymoon, we were told by locals that much of the Murano glass in the touristy stores were not actually from Murano, but from China. Murano glass has a fascinating history of secrecy, where those involved in the process could be condemned with death for sharing a trade secret. With the changes to GI law in the European Union, Murano glass could potentially be a protected geographical indication.


Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.

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