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Abstract

Specialty crops grown by multiple producers are often viewed by consumers as differentiated products that command a price premium. Since price premiums are dependent upon differentiation of an item from generic counterparts, specialty crops must have distinctive identities that cannot be copied or mimicked by others. Trademarks are normally employed to differentiate and protect products, but the limitation of trademarks to products from a single source means that differentiation of specialty crops grown by multiple producers may involve difficulties in precluding free riders from adopting the same name. Through a case study of Georgia's Vidalia Onions and an examination of producer price data, this article explores the problem of the protection of product differentiation of regional specialty crops grown by multiple producers.

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