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Empirical analysis of geographical indications in France and Vietnam: opportunities and constraints

Pick, Barbara (2018) Empirical analysis of geographical indications in France and Vietnam: opportunities and constraints. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Looking beyond formal legal protection for geographical indications (GIs), this research project empirically explores the opportunities and constraints which influence whether regional product branding initiatives are successful. The legal protection of GIs is characterised by a variety of legal approaches which translates the many meanings and objectives attached to them. These range from protection of the consumers and producers’ interests against unfair competition practices, to territorial development, to preservation of cultural heritage and natural resources. This research seeks to understand the relationships between the type of legal protection, the operation of GI initiatives, their economic and non-economic effects, and the opportunities and constraints that affect such effects. To this aim, it draws upon empirical data collected from twelve GI initiatives involving different means of protection (trade mark and sui generis systems) in France and Vietnam that both associate GIs with economic and non-economic objectives. In doing so, this thesis identifies the factors that impact on the collective dynamics involved in the GI initiatives; those that influence the use and value of GIs on the market; those that hinder their use on the market; and those that contribute to the ability of GIs to create effects outside the market. This thesis argues that the significance of the distinction between the two types of legal protection varies greatly depending on the institutional context in which the GI initiatives are embedded and that the differences between the sui generis and trade mark approaches can be reduced in practice. Further, the type of legal protection is often not enough to bring about economic and non-economic effects. This research suggests that a wide range of organisational, institutional, marketing, socio-economic and cultural factors influence both the use and value of GIs, and the benefits derived from them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Barbara Pick
Library of Congress subject classification: K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Supervisor: Salomon, Margot and Pottage, Alain and Gangjee, Dev

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