[extract] The increasing economic significance of geographical indications is in deep contrast to the relatively weak international protection we have seen so far. National or European Community regulations are not sufficient as means of international protection, since this kind of protection does not exceed the borders of the nation or the European Union.

The commercial value of geographical indications is closely related to their function as individualising symbols of goods of a specific geographic origin, and their value in marketing. The traditional function of geographical indications is principally to serve as a designation of origin. The geographical indication immediately involves association with the geographical origin of the product. It is the association to the place of origin that individualises the product.