Information about the geographical origin of products are – just like trademarks – important decision-making tools for commercial trade. Geographical indications are particularly worthy of protection if it is generally accepted commercially that they provide additional information about the location-based originality and quality of the labelled products. For example, the designation “Lübecker Marzipan” is associated with a regional area and a particular method of production and thus with quality.

Guarantee of original quality

The legal right to use geographical origin marks needs to be defined in two respects – according to geographical boundaries and also quality standards. This is carried out by RAL as part of a investigation process involving those professional and trade groups affected by the relevant subject matter. The findings are approved in each case in the form of a RAL Registration that defines the boundaries for the geographical origin, the quality requirements and the labelling regulations. It regulates who is permitted to supply which products according to which quality criteria that have been produced in which location using these labels.

Further information on the subject of geographical origin marks can be found at, German Institute for the Protection of Geographical Indications, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 11, 50668 Cologne, Telephone: +49 221 650 65 137, Fax: +49 221 650 65 135, E-Mail: