The way forward for GIs in Sri Lanka


J.M. Swaminathan

The way forward for GIs in Sri Lanka

isarescheewin /

Various national and international treaties and agreements protect goods from false and deceptive indications of source. J.M. Swaminathan examines the situation in Sri Lanka.

Chapter XXXIII of Sri Lanka’s Intellectual Property Law No. 36 of 2003 defines geographical indications (GIs) as indications that identify goods originating in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.

GIs may be regarded as offshoots of indications of source and appellations of origin, which were first recognised in the Paris Convention of 1883, but there has been no uniform approach by different countries in respect of the protection of GIs. Some countries have enacted specific sui generis registration to the protection of GIs. Others protect GIs under existing laws and still others afford protection by a combination of both.

For the protection of GIs, unfair competition regulations, consumer protection laws, laws protecting trade names and marks, laws preventing passing off and laws relating to false and misleading trade practices are also relevant.

GIs, Paris Convention, WTO, TRIPS,