Brief TIHP-UNDP Project Description: The project aims to provide support to the Government of Pakistan and other stakeholders including private sector and workers in ensuring that the country can strategically seize the opportunities of global economic and trade integration for advancing national progress in human development and poverty eradication.
1. Geographical Indications: Background
Geographical Indications (GIs) permit producers in developing countries to improve the competitiveness of, and higher prices for, traditional products that they have been producing for centuries. In Asia, disputes arising from the use of the term "Basmati" to describe rice produced in the United States, as well as claims surrounding bio-piracy and indigenous knowledge over "Neem" and "Turmeric" at the US Patents Office drew attention to the importance of these issues. There are many other products produced traditionally in Asia where the protection of GIs could provide higher and more secure incomes to local, indigenous producers. It should be noted that only 6% of all GIs registered in the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin are from developing countries. GIs also fundamentally differ from trademarks. There are over 6 million trademarks in force world-wide today, but only under 800 GIs (70% in any case relate to wines or spirits).
GIs form a special part of intellectual property rights (IPRs) that are most directly related and potentially applied to the protection and preservation of traditional knowledge, thus impacting directly on human development, broadly defined. Compared to other IPRs, GIs are also unlimited by time.
Section 3 of the TRIPs Agreement obliges members protect geographical indications, (GIs) defined as "indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality within that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin." While Article 22 ensures protection for all GIs, Articles 23 and 24 provide for additional protection for wines and spirits. However, paragraph 2 of Article 24 provides for a review of the application of the provisions of section 3; in this context many countries both developed and developing have presented proposals to the effect that the additional protection provided to wines and spirits should be extended to other products. This proposal was retained in the "Compilation of Outstanding Implementation Issues raised by Members" and thus will be addressed under the mandate of Implementation –Related Issues and Concerns, under paragraph 12 of the Doha Declaration. This is reconfirmed in paragraph 18 of the Declaration which notes that "issues related to the extension of the protection of geographical indications to products other than wines and spirits will be addressed in the Council for TRIPs pursuant to paragraph 12 of this Declaration". In the discussion in the TRIPs Council widely divergent views have been expressed regarding the desirability of such extension.
2. Why a Scoping Study
After the preparation of Technical Support Document in December 2004, a number of seminars were organized in partnership with stakeholders by the project during 2006 in which importance of Geographical Indications was discussed. It was proposed that GI protection should be awarded to goods and skills unique to Pakistan, modules should be developed for a national register, and registered items be notified at WIPO. In light of these recommendations, the project hopes to initiate different activities leading to a national register of GIs. To this end, scoping study to assess the opportunities and challenges of a GI intervention in Pakistan is proposed.
3. Scoping Study on GIs
The scoping study on GIs should focus on identifying the specific interests of Pakistan in GIs and suggest actions at the national level to protect and further these interests.
The study should thus include:
a. Conduct literature review of existing information/documentation on Geographical Indications in Pakistan
b. Briefly review the experience of other countries in the documentation and registration of GIs, such as India, Sri Lanka
c. Prepare methodology for a market survey on identification of GIs
d. Conduct market survey in a selected area for selected products as a pilot survey
e. Identify and analyse the economic and social sectors and groups of people, especially ethnic, traditional, and indigenous that would be affected by GI protection
f. Identify the opportunities and challenges for GIs in Pakistan including the legal, social, market, and administrative issues and assess possible barriers to notification of GIs in Pakistan
g. Recommend way forward and mechanisms (strategic plan) to produce a national register for Ministry of Commerce/Intellectual Property Organization and notification at World Intellectual Property Organization
A report delivered in stages that should include but not be limited to:
• Collated and documented existing literature on GIs in Pakistan
• Comprehensive literature review
• Market survey methodology
• Report on the markey survey
• List of identified products, locations, and stakeholders
• Stakeholder analysis
• Way forward
Anywhere in Pakistan
He / She will report to National Project Director (NPD)
As per UNDP rules for National Consultants specified in PCOM Version 4.0