Sabah Tea, Sarawak Pepper and Bario Rice, along with Borneo Virgin Coconut Oil, Sabah Seaweed, Tenom Espresso and Buah Limau Bali Sungai Gedung, stand as the only real seven registered Geographical Indications in Malaysia (as of 2009).
Geographical Indications (GI’s) are one of many least recognized Mental Property Rights in Malaysia. Maybe that’s the reason behind the small variety of protected GI’s.
In Malaysia, GI’s are ruled by the Geographical Indications Act 2000. In accordance with the Act, GI means an “indication which identifies any items as originating in a rustic or territory, or a area or locality in that nation or territory, the place a given high quality, repute or different attribute of the products is basically attributable to their geographical origin”. The Act permits the producer(s) of the merchandise from the geographical space, a reliable authority or a commerce group/affiliation to use for a GI registration.
Examples of well-known GI’s from Europe are Champagne for glowing wine, Mozzarella cheese, Feta cheese, Tuscan olive oil, and Parma ham. GI’s that Malaysians could also be extra accustomed to might be Basmati rice, Ceylon tea, Assam tea, Darjeeling tea, Persian carpets, Thai silk and Kanjeepuram sarees.
There are just a few difficulties that will come up from registering and growing a GI. As an illustration, reaching a consensus on the related area/space and the standard necessities of the merchandise doesn’t come simply (One would possibly consult with the current challenge over the extremely prized Puer tea between the Chinese language provinces of Yunnan and Guangdong) not like logos that are normally held by one particular person or entity. A GI is normally owned by plenty of folks. Happily, these difficulties might be resolved with a spherical of conferences between the producers of the product or by making a board which is able to resolve issues pertaining to the GI. In Malaysia, an instance of a board that registered and displays a GI can be the Pepper Advertising and marketing Board, a federal statutory physique, which registered the GI “Sarawak Pepper” for pepper and pepper merchandise originating from Sarawak (a state in East Malaysia).
GI’s needs to be recognized and guarded as a result of not solely do they supply the power for producers to market their merchandise higher and thereby enhance their earnings, however GI’s additionally encourage a excessive customary of high quality of manufacturing and promote tourism within the related area.
Shoppers lately have gotten increasingly more discerning of the merchandise they purchase and are prepared to pay extra for high quality. GI’s supply that assure of high quality. In that sense, GI’s are much like well-known logos as they denote good high quality of the merchandise on which the GI or trademark is utilized.
Sadly, the peace of mind of high quality given by a GI encourages third events who are usually not producers from the area to trip on the goodwill of the GI and to label their merchandise as originating from the identical area because the GI. Consequently the GI’s worth will probably be diluted and customers will probably be deceived. Efforts ought to due to this fact be made by producers to guard their registered GI’s. Strict authorized motion needs to be taken in opposition to third events who haven’t any proper to make use of the GI’s. It needs to be famous nonetheless, that whereas registered GI’s inherently supply a sure safety to the producers, GI is much like mental properties resembling logos and patents in that the safety is nationwide or regional, not international. GI needs to be sought in different international locations (the place there’s a registration system) if one desires robust authorized safety there for his or her GI. In any other case, motion in opposition to improper customers will probably be by the use of the tort of passing off (if accessible in a specific nation).