Concept of Geographical Indication

“A geographical indication enables to understand the identification or recognition of a good from a specific geographical location. It marks the origin of an item and such an item possesses specific qualities which defines the reputation of the product.”[1] Such products may include industrial products, fruits, vegetables, drinks and other food items. “One such example is of mangoes in Ratnagiri and other places of Maharashtra.”[2] Such a tag is given only after proper investigation and empirical and historical enquiry. The mangoes grown in Maharashtra are such that they are not produced anywhere else and have some value attached to them. Now, these mangoes are effectively promoted and sold in different parts of the country.

Giving a GI tag to a certain product does not mean that this product cannot be produced or created by any other person. It only implies that it has been acknowledged that this product has certain characteristics, features, qualities and elements which are unique and distinct. And in order to give another product the same name, it must possess the same qualities. If it does not comply with the same standards, such product will not be given the same name. “For example, Gucci mushrooms from Jammu and Kashmir have acquired a GI tag. This means in order to claim certain mushrooms as Gucci mushrooms, they must have the same features as original and authentic Gucci mushrooms which have gotten the GI tag. If they fail to meet the criteria, the people will not be allowed to claim these mushrooms as Gucci mushrooms.”[3]

This kind of tag helps to maintain the quality and standards of products that are authentic to a place and removes the artificial products from the market that are sold in the name of it being original. “For instance, the name of Darjeiling tea which also has a GI tag cannot be used randomly by any person who is not complying with the standards of Darjeiling tea.”[4] Hence, this GI tag gives a brand identity to the product which cannot be used casually. The GI tag also grants legal protection to the product. In a case where the use of GI tag is unauthorized, a legal action may be taken.

The difference between a trademark and GI is that a GI tag is granted to a product which originated from a place and has some distinct features. “On the other hand, trademark is granted to products that were created by a certain company and has some unique elements.”[5] The GI is granted to all the producers producing the product as a whole and they all have the right to approach the court to enforce the protection. However, trademark is given to a specific company only and not to all companies producing that specific product. For instance, any registered seller selling true darjeiling tea will possess the GI tag irrespective of whether he had approached the authorities to acquire it. On the other hand, if TATA gets a trademark on TATA tea, then, the tea produced by TATA will only get the trademark and not any or every seller.

There are great advantages of getting a GI tag. The product gets recognition and its value in the market rises. The revenues and employment arenas of that area also increases and improves by giving a tag. A product’s value is attached to a specific place where it originated which preserves and improves the historical importance of the product. The sellers of the real products are also protected from other sellers in the market who make profits by selling fake products. Hence, this tag has multi-fold benefits over the economy, culture and society of the country.

[1] WIPO, ‘Geographical Indication’

[2] Wikipedia, ‘Geographical Indication’,

[3] Wikipedia, ‘Geographical Indication’,

[4] Wikipedia, ‘Geographical Indication’,

[5] Vikaspedia, ‘Geographical Indication’

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.

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