Registration of Geographical Indications in India

Geographical Indication or GI Tags is an intellectual property right given over a product that originates from a specific geographical location and holds qualities that are intrinsic or reputable due to that location. A few examples of GIs are Roquefort Cheese which is a unique form of blue cheese that is aged in Roquefort-Sur-Soulzon, France; Mysore Silk Saree, which is made in the KSIC factory, Mysuru.

GI as an Intellectual Property Right is included in Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreement.[1] It requires the member states to protect the identity of the product, originating from a particular geographical location, and from preventing the use of such identity for any other product not originating from that location, so has to protect the public from getting misled.[2]India, being a signatory of the TRIPS Agreement, subsequently passed the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999[3] and the Rules on Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection), 2002[4].

Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (the “Act”):

Meaning of GI under the Indian Law:

Under the Indian law, GIs have been defined as “an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in the case where such goods are manufactured goods one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be.”[5]

How to Register GIs:[6]

Step 1: Before filing the Application for GI Tag, one must ensure that their product falls under the ambit of the Act under section 2(e). Once that is confirmed, the Application for GI Tag can be filed under section 11 of the Act. Three copies of the Application need to be made containing:

  • statement of the case for GI Tag
  • class of good to which GI is applicable
  • three certified copies of the geographical map of the region to which the GI belongs
  • description of the GI
  • details of the applicants with their addresses

The Application should be sent to the following address in India:
Geographical Indications Registry
Intellectual Property Office Building Industrial Estate,
G.S.T Road Guindy, Chennai – 600 032, Phone: 044 – 22502091-93 & 98
Fax: 044 – 22502090
E-mail:gir-ipo@nic.in
Website: ipindia.gov.in

Step 2: Scrutiny of the Application will be done by the Registrar to find out any insufficiency, which would have to be corrected within one month of having received the communication for the same. Thereafter, the statement of the case will be reviewed by the experts and consequently, an Examination Report will be issued.

Step 3: If there is any objection concerning the Application by the Registrar, it will be communicated, and the Application would have to reply or apply for a hearing for the same within two months of receiving such communication. The Applicant would then have two months to file for an appeal for such a decision if he/she so wishes.

Step 4: Within 3 months of acceptance of the Application, it has to be published in the Geographical Indications Journal.

Step 5: A notice of opposition can be filed by anyone opposing the GI Application within three months. A copy of the Notice will be sent to the Applicant and the Applicant is required to send a counter-statement within 2 months. Thereafter, evidence will be presented by both parties along with supporting documents, and the date for hearing the matter will be fixed.

If no counter statement is sent by the Applicant, it will be deemed that the Applicant has abandoned his/her application.

Step 6: Once the hearing is over and the Application is accepted, the GI will be registered by the Registrar. Thereafter, the certificate of registration will be issued to the Applicant with the seal of the GI Registry. The date of filing of the Application shall be considered the date of registration.

Step 7: GI is appliable for a period of 10 years and is required to be renewed by payment of a renewable fee.

GI registration

[Image Source: ipindia.gov.in]

Concluding Remarks:

With the ambit of Intellectual Property Rights ever-growing, the need for its protection is growing as well. India has been prominent in understanding the value of such rights and has successfully signed and ratified the TRIPS Agreement. The execution of the GIs in India has been rising ever since, with the Darjeeling Tea becoming the first GI registered under the Act. The Indian government has sought to simplify the process of registration so as to protect the culture and the rights of people. This process encompasses filing of a detailed Application, its Examination, Acceptance (if no objections are made), Advertisement of the Application in the GI Journal, Entry in the GI Register (if no objections are made), and finally issuance of the GI Registration Certificate which would be valid for 10 years.

Author: Sanjhi Sharma, an intern at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys.  In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at aishani@khuranaandkhurana.com.

References:

[1]TRIPS: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Apr. 15, 1994, Part II, s. 3, Art. 22 (1994) [hereinafter TRIPS Agreement].

[2]Id.

[3]Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999,No. 48, Acts of Parliament, 1999 (India).

[4]The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 (India).

[5]Supra note 3, s. 2(e).

[6]Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, The Registration Process, https://ipindia.gov.in/the-registration-process-gi.htm.

 

Leave a Reply

Archives

  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • July 2021
  • June 2021
  • May 2021
  • April 2021
  • March 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010