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To protect or not?

Indication of geographical origin, as an intellectual property right, protects the name of a product that has a certain geographical origin and that owes its quality and reputation to that particular origin. In other words, a product protected by an indication of geographical origin indicates that it is a specific product from a certain limited location that has a unique quality.

Well-known indications of geographical origin have become synonymous with fantastic quality and they are gladly used all over the world. The mere mention of the geographical indication Parmigiano Reggiano, which is registered for a type of hard cheese produced in Parma, as well as the geographical indication Champagne, registered for the sparkling wine produced in the French region of the same name, immediately brings a smile to the face.

Some of the well-known indications of geographical origin in Serbia are certainly Rtanjski med (Rtanj honey), Pirotski ćilim (Pirot carpet), Sjenički sir (Sjenica cheese) and many others. The registration procedure is efficient and not too long, and so far over a hundred indications of geographical origin have been registered before the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia.

The reason why producers decide to protect their products with indications of geographical origin in complex procedures lies in the economic component. Namely, products protected by indications of geographical origin, as a rule, have a significantly higher price than other products from that category.

However, the registration procedure can sometimes last even several years which causes problems for producers who have started the process itself. European Parliament has recognized this problem and has adopted at the end of the last month the regulation on changes of registration procedure for indications of geographical origin for wine, spirits and agricultural products. The said adopted regulation should simplify and accelerate the procedure before the European Union Intellectual Property Office for the products from specified categories and to the satisfaction of the applicant.

So, bearing all of the above in mind, the answer to the question in the title is yes. In addition to the fact that producers will protect their product in this way and be in a small group of those who recognized the importance of protecting the indication of geographical origin, they will undoubtedly have economic benefits as well. On the other hand, the product protected by the indication of geographical origin will represent a guarantee for the consumer that it is a product of exceptional quality and a controlled product.

If you want to learn more about the protection of indications of geographical origin, feel free to contact us at