A geographical indication (GI) is a label placed on products that have a specific geographical origin and have qualities or a reputation that stem from that origin. A sign must identify a product as coming from a specific location in order to function as a GI. It is an indication. It originates from a definite geographical territory. it is used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory . It is used to identify agricultural, natural or manufactured goods. The manufactured goods should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory. It should have a unique quality, reputation, or other characteristics. The Central Government of India has established a Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai with all-India jurisdiction. •The GI Act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks, who also serves as the Registrar of Geographical Indications. As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which went into effect on September 15, 2003 11.
Important Factors Regarding GI tags
The following conditions must be met for the GI tag to be granted, according to Section 9 of the GI Act:
- GI utilisation ought not to be misleading, equivocal, or unlawful.
- It cannot contain any vulgar material, and it should not infringe upon the territory’s residents’ devout convictions and sentiments.
- It must have a straightforward title or sign to be secured.
- When determining the deciding figure for distinguishing nonexclusive names, all perspectives must be considered, taking into account the circumstances of the location where the names originated and the region where the items are used. Although the commodities are from the country, they must not be similar to those from other countries, regions, or areas.
Who can apply for GI Tag?
Any person, maker, or association that has been authorised by or under the law may file an application with the Registrar of Geographical Indications, the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. The GI Registry is located in Chennai. It is registered under the GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 Climate, generation strategy, familiar and human characteristics, an outline of the fabricating region, the nearness of a topographical sign, a list of makers, and the expenses must all be included within the application.
CONDITIONS FOR APPLYING GI TAG
It relates to a goods, although in some countries, services are also included; These goods/services must originate from a defined area; The goods/services must have qualities, reputations or other characteristics which are clearly linked to the geographical origin of goods
STEP 1 : Filing of application first check whether the indication comes within the ambit of the definition of a Gl under section 2(1)(e). The association of persons or producers, or any organisation or authority, should represent the interests of the producers of the concerned goods and file an affidavit describing how the applicant met the requirements claims to represent their interest. Application must be made in triplicate. The application must be signed by the applicant or his agent and include a statement of case. Details of the special characteristics and how those standards are maintained.
STEP 2 AND 3: Preliminary examination and scrutiny. The Examiner will review the application for any flaws. The applicant must correct the situation within one month of receiving notification of it.
STEP 4: Show cause notice If the Registrar has any objection to the application, he will communicate such objection. The applicant has two months to respond or request a hearing.
STEP 5: Publication in the geographical indications Journal Every application, within three moths of acceptance shall be published in the Geographical Indications Journal.
STEP 6: Opposition to Registration Any person can file a notice of opposition within three months (extendable by another month on request which has to be filed before three months) opposing the GI application published in the Journal. The applicant will be served with a copy of the notice by the registrar.
STEP 7: Registration Where an application for a GI has been accepted, the registrar shall register the geographical indication. If the application is registered, the date of filing is deemed to be the date of registration. The registrar must issue the applicant a certificate bearing the Geographical indications registry seal.
STEP 8: Renewal A registered GI shall be valid for 10 years and can be renewed on payment of renewal fee. For e.g.: The Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Hyderabadi Haleem has been renewed, after it expired around two years ago. The Haleem Makers Association, which got the GI tag in 2010, got it renewed for another 10 years
STEP 9: Additional protection to notified goods The Act includes additional safeguards for notified goods.
STEP 10: Appeal Any person aggrieved by an order or decision may prefer an appeal to the intellectual property appellate board (IPAB) within three months. The IPAB’s address is as follows: Intellectual Property Appellate Board Annexe 1, 2nd Floor, Guna Complex, 443, Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 018.
GI IN INDIA:
The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 was passed by Parliament in December 1999. The purpose of this Act is to provide for the registration and protection of Geographical Indications pertaining to goods in India. The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks, who also serves as the Registrar of Geographical Indications, is in charge of enforcing this Act. The Geographical Indications Registry is located at Chennai. The Registrar of Geographical Indication is divided into two parts. Part ’A’ consists of particulars relating to registered Geographical indications and Part ‘B’ consists of particulars of the registered authorized users.
In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Because the qualities vary according to the geographical location of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original location of production. The government is planning to launch the Gems Of Our Heritage initiative to promote our country’s unique products and preserve traditional crafts. This will feature Geographical Indication (GI) products from across India and invite more products to be applied for GI registration. The GI tag will provide an international market exposure to the traditional produce of the state, apart from boosting the local market visibility and opportunities.
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