Difference between Trademark and Geographical Indication

Difference between Trademark and Geographical Indication

Trademarks and Geographical Indications Compared

Definition of law

Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 defines a GI as:

Agricultural, natural, and manufactured goods are generally attributed to a country, region, or locality from where they originate, develop, or are manufactured.

The Indian Trademarks Act 1999 states in Section 2(i) (zb) that a mark may consist of a graphic representation and distinguish one product from another, such as the shape of the goods, their packaging, or a combination of colors.

A GI and trademark have a territorial or geographical connotation in relation to their native places, but the same does not apply to trademarks.

Geographical indications versus trademarks

1. A trademark is a symbol, name, or identity that distinguishes one entity’s products and services from another’s. Regardless of a manufacturer’s label, automobiles are automobiles. BMW and Audi are, for example, trademarks of their respective automakers. An item’s geographical origin can be attributed to any producer from the region from which the item originated.

2. Indications géographiques (IG) are collective protections granted to a group of producers.  Individuals or companies can register trademarks.

3. A generic name can be used by any manufacturer or producer on the same territory, unlike trademarks registered in someone’s name and address.

4. You can register a trademark for a word, a letter, a combination of letters and numbers, a gadget, a hologram, a sound, or an odor. In contrast, GIs can only take the form of names or symbols.

5. Regardless of whether they are applied to goods or services, trademarks and GIs can be applied to both.

6. Uniqueness of a trademark is determined by its intellectual property rights. There are different types of trademarks such as descriptive, suggestive, and arbitrary. Product identifier codes are used to identify certain products. GI is a measure of a place’s economic productivity, which is determined by factors such as geography, human labor, and the environment.

7. A community or association of producers is entitled to GI. Assam Muga Silk has GI rights. The right to own a trademark belongs only to one person or company.

8. GIs are governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registtrademarks for example.Protection) Act 1999, rather than trademarks.


Trademarks and geographical indications serve the same purpose. Unlike a trademark, a geographic indicator identifies the place from which the product originates, rather than the creator. Intellectual property can be classified into both types.

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