Geographical Indications

Geographical Indication in relation to goods, identifies goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, 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. In case such goods are manufactured goods, one of the activities of either the production, processing or preparation takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be. This could be agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods.

We at Khurana and Khurana understand the importance of securing our Client’s GI and are well-versed to provide to them world-class services and air-tight protection.

Filing

The Protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) in India is governed by “The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999”. The Geographical Indications Registry for the purposes of registration of GIs, is located in Chennai.

Who is entitled to apply?

Any statutory association of persons, producers, organization or authority can apply for registration of GIs. The applicant must essentially represent the interest of the producers only.

Under the law of GI, persons dealing with the following three categories of goods are considered Producers:
a. Agricultural Goods encompassing the production, processing, trading or dealing;
b. Natural Goods includes exploiting, trading or dealing; and
c. Handicrafts or Industrial goods comprising the processes of making, manufacturing, trading or dealing.

Filing Requirements

The application must conform to the various requirements and criteria prescribed under the GI Rules. All the goods have been classified in different classes in accordance with the International Classification of goods for the purposes of registration of Geographical Indications.

Prosecution

Once the Application for Registration of GI is filed at the GI Registry, the Registrar will have the Application examined and may consult an expert group to verify the technical details. Thereafter, on expiry of 3 months, the Examination report is issued to which the Applicant is required to submit a reply. On satisfaction, the Registrar accepts the Application which will then be published in the GI journal. If the Applicant fails to reply in 2 months, the Application shall be deemed rejected. The Applicant may appeal within 1 month against the decision of the registrar, as the case may be.

Opposition

Any person can oppose the registration of geographical indication by way of a notice in writing to the Registrar. This shall be done within a period of three months from the date of advertisement of the application in the Journal. The Applicant shall be required to send a counter statement to the Registrar within two months from the date of receipt, stating the grounds that he relied on for making the application. Then, within two months (extendible to three months) from the date of receipt of this counter statement, the opponent shall submit his evidence in support of his contentions. Ordinarily, within three months from the date of completion of the evidence, the registrar shall give both the parties one-month notice and then conduct a hearing. On the contentions of both parties and considering the evidence, the registrar is empowered to grant or deny the GI.

Registration & Renewal

Registration of a GI bestows such rights only on the Registered Proprietor and the Authorised Users:

  • Right to obtain relief in case of infringement of GI.
  • Exclusive right to use of the GI in relation to the goods for which GI is registered.
  • Two or more authorised users of a registered GI shall have corresponding and equal rights.

The registration of GI is valid for a period of ten years, and may be renewed thereafter from time to time.