Section 2(1)(e) [i]of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, defines GI as an indication capable of identifying goods, including natural goods, agricultural goods, or manufactured goods, as manufactured or originating in a country’s territory, or a locality or region within that territory, where a specific quality, reputation, or any other attribute of such good is particularly a characteristic to its geographical origin.

GI tags are used to convey an assurance of quality and distinctiveness of a product, mainly attributable to its origin. It is also used to provide comfort and knowledge about the authenticity and origin of the product.[ii]

Different governing body for GI:

  • INTERNATIONAL LEVEL: In international level, it is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • IN INDIA: In India, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 is the governing body which administers and regulates GI. It is done by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.


According to the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999,[iii] a trademark is defined as a mark, which can be represented graphically and can distinguish the goods or services of one individual from those of others.

It is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from other enterprises.


The difference between GI and Trademark can be listed as follows:[iv]

  1. A Trademark is a sign/phrase/word which is used to distinguish its goods and services from the others. Whereas, a GI is used to tell the consumers that a product is produced in a certain place, certain way, has certain characteristics and aspect to it.
  2. A trademark is used to prevent other from using someone’s entity. On the other hand, a GI can be used by all producers, who make their products in the place designated by a GI.
  3. A Trademark Registration is usually filed by a single business entity or individual. However, a GI protection is granted to a group of manufactures, who belong to a particular geographical location and where the good was originated.
  4. A Trademark can be a number, word, numerical, a combination of them, sound, hologram, smell, an abbreviation, a name or a device. Whereas, GI can be only names and symbols denoting a particular region or place.
  5. A Registered Trademark can be used only by a single person or business entity by whom it is registered, whereas all the producers and manufacturers of a certain region is permitted to use the corresponding GI.
  6. A Trademark is the product of the creativity of an individual. Whereas, a GI is used for the identification of a good based on their place of origin, climatic factors, topography, location and such.


[i] The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, §2.

[ii] WIKIPEDIA, https://w// (last visited Nov 7, 2021).

[iii] The Indian Trademarks Act, 1999.

[iv] Shakeel Anwar, what is the Geographical Indication and how it is different from Trademark, JAGRANJOSH, (last visited Dec 5, 2021, 11PM).

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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