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Title: The why of geographical indications
Author: Zappalaglio, Andrea
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 9307
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores the historical evolution of the nature of the link between a product and its place of origin in the European sui generis systems of GI protection, with a specific focus on the EU Regulation 1151/2012 on Geographical Indications for the protection of agricultural products and foodstuffs. It concludes that this link has substantively changed, since the 1930s, when some early forms of sui generis GI systems were introduced in southern Europe, especially in France and Italy. While these regimes were based exclusively on the concept of terroir, a cipher for the physical link between a product and a place, an empirical analysis carried out in the present work reveals that, today, the history of the product and of its method of production is, statistically, the predominant linking factor. Furthermore, the research shows that the historical link is almost always mentioned in the specifications of EU GI products, when protected both by Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), which are the two quality schemes provided by EU Law. In particular, the terroir element, which characterises PDOs, also appears frequently in PGI specifications, where it should be superfluous, thus suggesting that the differences between these two quality schemes are unclear. Finally, the emergence of the historical element confirms that GIs can contribute to the protection of products that are linked to a geographical area not by physical and environmental factors, but by the socio-cultural traditions of a specific place. Although history can constitute a valid product/link, however, it must be used with caution, as it can be mystified and reconstructed in an arbitrary and unfounded way. This is dangerous, because it can turn GIs into a mere marketing tool, thus damaging the origin function that distinguishes them from the broad family of quality labels.
Supervisor: Gangjee, Dev Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law of Geographical Indications ; European Law of Geographical Indications ; Intellectual Property Law ; European IP Law ; Geographical Indications ; Traditional Knowledge ; Protected Geographical Indications ; Rural Development ; Common Agricultural Policy ; Protected Designation of Origin ; Appellations of Origin ; Traditional Specialities Guaranteed ; EU Geographical Indications