Geo Indications
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United States of America

Country:      United States Of America    
Capital:        Washington Dc
Language:   English
Member:
     Madrid Protocol, Berne Convention, Trademark Law Treaties, Wipo, Paris Convention, Pct, G 8, Wto, Un Security Council  

The IP affairs in the USA are looked after by the United States Patent & Trademarks Office (USPTO)
The USPTO determines GIs in the USA.

Role played by Geographical Indications:
In the USA, the Gis serve the same functions as Trademarks.  Therefore, like Trademarks, Gis are:
·    Source Identifiers
·    Guarantees of Quality
·    Valuable Assets

Applications:
Applications for registration of GIs are filed with the USPTO

Protection Accorded to GIs:
GIs in the USA are protected through the Trademarks Protection Regime.

Kinds of GI protectable:
(i).  Place names
(ii). Words
(iii). Slogans
(iv). Designs
(v). 3 Dimensional marks
(vi). Colours
(vii). Sounds
(viii). Scents


Kinds of GI not protectable:


Generic Marks
GI are protected as:

1. Certification Marks
2. Collective Marks
3. Trademarks
4. Common Law Geographic Indications

Certification Marks:
Following are the kinds of Certification Marks for GIs indicating:
(i).  Regional or other origin.
(ii). Material, Mode of Manufacture, Quality, Accuracy along with other characteristics of the goods / services.
(iii). That the work or labour involved regarding the goods/services was performed by a member of a Union or other organisation.

Functions of Certification Marks:
Certification Marks act as source identifiers since:
(i).  Identify the nature & quality of the goods / services.
(ii). Affirm that these goods / services have met certain defined standards.


Important characteristics of Certification Marks:

(i).  Its owner does not use it.
(ii). It does not indicate commercial source nor distinguish the goods or services of one person from another person except identifying the nature & quality of the goods / serives & certify that they have met certain defined standards.

Collective Marks:

Following are the kinds of Collective Marks for GIs indicating:
(i).  Collective Trademarks or Collective Servicemarks.
(ii). Collective Membership Marks

Important Characteristics of:


(i).  Collective Trademarks or Servicemarks :  Collective Trademark or Collective Servicemark is adopted by a “Collective” to identify & distinguish their marks from non-members’ goods/services such as:  

·    An Association
·    A Union
·    A Co-operative
·    A Fraternanl Organisation  
·    Any other organised collective group

(ii).  Collective Membership Marks:  Collective membership mark is adopted for the purpose of indicating membership in an organised collective group such as:
·    A Union
·    An Association
·    Any other organisation

Common Law Geographical Indications:
GIs are protected by Common Law without being registered by the USPTO owing to their long & unabated usage.

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