This chapter outlines research into the Ethiopian coffee and Ghanaian cocoa industries that sought to determine the potential for the local communities and diverse stakeholders participating in the two industries to benefit from sui generis geographical indications (GIs). The research was premised on the notion that GIs have the potential to serve as instruments for practical adaptation of intellectual property (IP) to open development. It was found that the degree to which GIs could be successfully and sustainably used as tools of place-based intellectual property (PBIP) – i.e. instruments of origin-designation – for Ethiopian coffee and Ghanaian cocoa would likely depend on the economic implications of the establishment of GI modalities. The implementation of GIs involves a range of tasks, including establishment of legal and institutional structures; maintaining the “quality, reputation or characteristics” of the products; enforcing and defending rights; and developing product awareness in international markets (TRIPS, 1994). These tasks involve significant cost and effort that would need to be measured and weighed against the expected benefits.
Oguamanam, Chidi and Dagne, Teshager W., Geographical Indication (GI) Options for Ethiopian Coffee and Ghanian Cocoa (May 17, 2013). In J. De Beer, C Armstrong, C. Oguamanam, T. Schonwetter, eds., Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa (Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2013), 77-108 ; Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2014-21.