A geographical indication (GI) refers to an indication used in trade to identify a product as originating from a particular territory which has given the product its special quality or reputation. 

A GI usually contains the place of origin of the product. Well-known GIs include: 

Wine

Type: Wine
Origin: Champagne

Spirit

Type: Spirit
Origin: Tequila

Cheese

Type: Cheese
Origin: Roquefort

Tea

Type: Tea
Origin: Darjeeling

Pepper

Type: Pepper
Origin: Kampot

Rice

Type: Rice
Origin: Hom Mali


Each of these products exhibit a specific quality or reputation which is attributable to the territory from which the product originates.

A geographical indication (GI) gives assurance to consumers that the product they buy comes from a particular place and has the unique characteristics associated with this GI. It differentiates the product identified by the GI from other products that are not labelled with the GI.

Once a GI is registered in Singapore, the producers or traders (or associations of such producers/traders) of the GI may take action against other persons who misuse the GI in Singapore, such as using the GI in relation to products that did not originate in the place indicated by the GI in a way that misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the products.
An application to register a geographical indication has to minimally fulfil the following criteria:
  • The application is filed by a person who has an entitlement to file
  • The indication falls within the meaning of "geographical indication"
  • The geographical indication identifies goods that fall within any of the prescribed categories of goods
  • The geographical indication is not contrary to public policy or morality
  • The geographical indication is protected in its country or territory of origin
  • The geographical indication is not identical to the common name of any goods in Singapore
  • The geographical indication does not contain the name of a plant variety or an animal breed such that it is likely to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product
  • The geographical indication is not identical with or similar to, and has the same geographical origin as, an earlier geographical indication
  • The geographical indication is not identical with or similar to an earlier trade mark
Once a geographical indication is registered, it will be protected for 10 years. The registration may be renewed upon its expiry.