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A complete protocol for the registration of Geographical Indication

As we are living in the modern world, in our day to day life there are a lot of products produced by the producers (products like- foods, clothes, related to agriculture, etc). It is very useful to the people but there are some infringements arise. So the producers want to protect their product from others, with that they need to promote their product and advertise to attract more customers. The Geographical Indication right helps the producers regarding these issues.

There are several products have a G.I tag in India. But still, most of the producers don't know the protocol to get the G.I tag. That is the main reason to raise these kinds of issues. In this paper, we explained the protocol to get the G.I tag and also we discussed the benefits of the G.I rights.

While reading our paper, the readers can know about the procedure for registration and also we gave some suggestions to increase the effectiveness of the G.I. We explained about how G.I was raised and also discussed a case; it will help the readers to know about the G.I. Every producer must know about the rights of their products.

Geographical Indication is a sign given to the particular product which is produced within a particular region or territory. The goods which are protected under Geographical Indication have a specific geographical origin. The goods which are protected under G.I are agriculture, natural or manufactured goods, handicraft and industrial goods like a foodstuff. Geographical Indication preferred agricultural products. Geographical indications of goods (registered and production) act came into enforcement in December 1999.

There are 83 sections governed under chapter 1 of this act, section 2 of G.I of goods act defined the definition of geographical indications and section 3 in chapter 2 tells about the registration for G.I. In India, Geographical Indications like (In Karnataka - Mysore sandal soap, Assam - Joha rice, West Bengal - Darjeeling tea, etc) these products are registered under G.I of goods act. Still, several products are under review to get the G.I tag.

History of Geographical Indication:

Before the TRIPS agreement, three international conventions dealing with the protection of IGOs, were, Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Madrid Agreement and the Lisbon Agreement is for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration.

The Paris Convention and the Madrid Agreement deal with 'indications of source' and the Lisbon Agreement focused on the protection of 'appellations of origin'. However, there are some problems regarding protection. To effectively the protection system the TRIPS agreement was made. The TRIPS agreement provided the basic standard of protection to all the goods.

Benefits of Geographical Indication:

  1. Economic growth:

    The geographical indication of tagged products helps will increase economic growth. If a product receives a geographical indication tag, it will build a good reputation among the consumers about the product and so the producers will gain more profit. The geographical indication product will boost regional economic development.
  2. Prevents misuse of Geographical Indication tag:

    The Geographical Indication is represented by a GI tag. The GI tag prevents the misuse of the Geographical Indicated product. If anyone misused the GI tag, the producer has the legal right to charge against that person and save his reputation from being damaged.
  3. Increase income for local producers:

    The protection of geographical indication increases the good reputation about the product among the consumers. Hence, the geographical indication increasesin income for local producers.
  4. Boosts exports:

    The only purpose of the Geographical Indication Act is to provide legal protection to the Geographical Indicated product. It will make a good reputation for the product. Hence, the Geographical Indication of a product will boost the export.

  5. Boosts tourism:

    The protection of Geographical Indication builds a good reputation among the producers about the product; this will attract more people towards that region. Many people from different countries notice the GI tagged product and they liked to visit that place. Hence, the GI tagged product booststourism.

The registration process of geographical indications:

There are 370 G.I have been registered in India. Geographical indications registration is not compulsory. It gives a better legal protections for their products from an action of infringement. Any group of persons, producers of the product, any organizations or authority established by or under the law they have a right to apply for the registration of G.I for their product.

There are several steps to get G.I:

  1. STEP:1- Filling of application

    The application must be made in triplicate. The applicant of the product or his agent has been signed in the application and the description of the case must be attached to that. The three certified copies of the maps of the region related to G.Ihave been given with the application. The details of the special characteristics of geographical indications and how those characteristics are maintained in that, description of the inspection structure if there is an area for regulating the use of G.I and also provide all applicants details and their address.If it consists of a large number of producers, then collective reference applications for all producers of goods and G.I should be made. If it is registered in the register the application will be sent to the respective address in India.

  2. STEP:2 &3 - Preliminary scrutiny and examination

    > The application will be checked by the examiner for any deficiencies within one month of communication regarding these deficiencies the applicant should take some measures. The content of the product description is evaluated by an advisory group of experts who will master the subject.They will ascertain the correctness of a particular furnished.After the examination, the examination report will be issuedby the examiner.

  3. STEP:4 - Show cause notice

    If there any objections arise for the registrar regarding this application, he shall file such objections. Withintwo months Register objection must be clarified by the applicant or he may apply for a hearingand the decision will be communicated properly. If the applicant wants to appeal, he may request an appeal within one month. The opportunity is given for hearing of an error, after that there is an error in that the registrar also has a right to withdraw the application.

  4. STEP:5 - Publication in the geographical indications journal

    Every accepted application shall be published within three months in a geographical indications journal

  5. STEP:6 - Opposition to registration

    If any person conveys their objection regarding the G.I which is published in the G.I journal, he can file a notice within three months(another month upon request which is to be filed before three months).The registrar will provide a copy of the opposing notice to the applicant. The applicant of the application sends the counter statement copy within two months. If he fails to send the counter-statement, and then his application will be dropped. If it is filled by the applicant,the registrar would sendthe counter statement copy to the person who gave an opposition notice.After that, the opposing party and the applicant will lead their proper evidencein the way of affidavit and other documents with that. After that, the date of hearing will be confirmed

  6. STEP:7 - Registration

    The application of G.I has been accepted, the registrar shall be registered that G.I product and the registrar issue the certificate of registration to the applicant with a seal of geographical indications registry.The date of applying would be considered as the date of registration.

  7. STEP:8 - Renewal

    The registered Geographical indications are valid for 10 years. After 10 years it will be renewed on payment fees. If the G.I is not renewed it is removed from the register

  8. STEP: 9 - Additional protection for goods

    These goods are notified by the central government for additional protection
  9. STEP:10 - Appeal

    If any person is affected by an order or decision then they prefer for an appeal in the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) within three months.

Tea Board of India vs. ITC Ltd[1]:

The defendant started a lodge at Darjeeling named as Darjeeling Lounge. Darjeeling is the geographical area for tea. So the plaintiff filed a case against the defendant and held that the defendant had malice to use the name 'Darjeeling' for the presentation. The court held that the defendant's lodge is not related to the tea estates. Further, the court held that Darjeeling is not a trademark. So the court dismissed the case.

Geographical Indication is not an individual or private right; it is a public or collective right. The right of the geographical indication vests with the legitimate producers in the geographical area. The legitimate producers are the producers who have been producing these products over a period of time. These rights can increase the economy of the local producers. In other ways, the right attracts the customers towards the product.

The national institution framework will greatly influence the effectiveness of the GI system for registration. The geographical indication right plays an important role in economic growth. The geographical indication right can increase the value of the product. But still, many products are under review for providing the geographical indication tag. It takes many years to provide a G.I tag for a product. The system of providing the G.I tag should be effective and it should be fastened as the extent possible.

  1. Tea Board of India vs. ITC Ltd, MANU/WB/0277/2019
Written By:
  1. Barathkumar K M, II year B.B.A., LL.B.(Hons.) - Sastra Deemed to be University
    Ph no: 9952657851, Email: [email protected]
  2. Ramki D, II year B.A., LL.B. - The Central Law College
    Ph no: 6379142747, Email: [email protected]
  3. Tamil Selvi M, II year B.A., LL.B. - The Central Law College
    Ph no: 6379630572, Email: [email protected]

    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: AG021690520661-3-720

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