Distinctive signs that indicate geographic origin were the earliest types of trademark in the sale of pre -industrial products such as minerals, simple manufactured goods and agricultural products. The use of animals (panda beer), landmarks (Mt. Fuji Sake), and well known personalities (Napoleaon Brandy, Mozart chocolates) are noted as the earliest sort of geographical indications that sought to denote particular locations but also to convey a certain message about the quality and reputation of the product.
TRIPs defines Geographical Indications (GIs) as indications “which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin”. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines “geographic indication” as a “sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.”