Geographical indications and designations of origin

Geographical indications are qualified indications of origin that have a particular link between a product’s quality, reputation or other characteristic and its geographical origin. Indications of source are geographical indications where this link is particularly close. For instance, traditional specialities in which everything is clearly defined by the source region, from the raw material for processing up unto the end product (e.g. Emmentaler cheese).

Products and services with a protected geographical indication (PGI) are either produced, processed or finished in the place of origin (e.g. Bündnerfleisch). Protected geographical indications (PGI) and protected indications of source (PDO and PAO) are quality signs that are protected under Swiss law. Non-agricultural products and services are registered with the IPI and agricultural products are registered with the Federal Office for Agriculture. After registration, the protected sign may be exclusively used for products that meet the criteria for origin, processing and quality as in the product specification.
The legal criteria for determining the origin of products and services are regulated in the Trade Mark Protection Act (TmPA).

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