•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
•The manufactured goods should be produced or processed
or prepared in that territory.
•It should have a special quality or reputation or other
BENEFITS OF GIs
•It confers legal protection.
•Prevents unauthorized use of a
Registered Geographical Indication by
•It promotes economic prosperity of
producers of goods
•Boosts the export. 3
•Can serve as source-identifiers for consumers.
Helps the pr•
o.ducers develop consumer loyalty.
•Plays a role in consumer decisions, including
willingness to pay a higher price for regionally
branded food products.
•For example, geographic location is an
important component of wine pricing.
Who can apply for the registration of a
• Any association of persons, producers,
organization or authority established by or under the
law can apply
• The applicant must represent the interest of the
• The applicant should be in writing in the prescribed
• The applicant should be addressed to the Registrar of
Geographical Indications along with prescribed fee
IMPACT OF GIs ON DEVELOPING
•Encourages rural development.
•Facilitates market access.
•Saves local natural resources .
•Plays an important role in the
preservation of cultural identity.
MYSORE ROSEWOOD INLAY
Is the registration of a Geographic Indication
compulsory and how does it help the
• Registration is not compulsory
• Registration affords better legal protection to
facilitate an action for infringement
• The registered proprietor and authorized users
can initiate infringement actions.
• The authorized
can exercise the
•The registration of a geographical indication is
valid for a period of 10 years and renewed from time
Why GI is to be protected ?
•Denote quality and origin of products
•Good reputation for the product
•Preventing the product from generic products
•Protecting the domestic market from competitors
How are GIs protected?
•In accordance with international treaties and national laws
under a wide range of concepts:
•special laws for the protection of geographical
indications or appellations of origin
•trademark laws in the form of collective marks or
•laws against unfair competition
•consumer protection laws, or
•specific laws or decrees that recognize individual
GI in India
•India, as a member of the World Trade
Organization(WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications
of Goods (Registration and Protection)Act, 1999 has
come into force with effect from 15 September 2003
•The Central Government of India has established the Ge
ographical Indications Registry with all India
jurisdiction in chennai
•The GI Act is being administered by the Controller Gen
eral of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks ‐ who is
the Registrar of Geographical Indications
CONDITIONS TO GET GI TAG
•It relates to a goods, although in some countries,
services are also included;
•These goods/services must originate from a defined
•The goods/services must have qualities, reputations or
other characteristics which are clearly linked to the
geographical origin of goods
•Geographical indications allows producers to
obtain market recognition and often a premium
•Geographical indications have become a key
source of niche marketing
•Geographical indications are also often
associated with non-monetary benefits such as
the protection of knowledge and community
•One of the 17 specialized
agencies of the United
Nations created in 1967
•Currently has 185 member
states and is headquartered
in Geneva, Switzerland
• To promote the protection of
intellectual property throughout
the world. 14
Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property
• Two basic obligations on WTO
member governments relating to
GIs in the TRIPS agreement
• Article 22: Prevent misleading
the public as to the geographical
origin of the good.
• Article 23: prevent the use of a
identifying wines not originating
in the place. 15
Why are geographical
•GIs are a marketing tool
•Reputation for quality associated with place name used
on labels, advertising
•GI-identified products are believed to command higher
•Of particular interest to developing countries
•Consumer vs. producer interests
•Long-time, generic use of expressions
geographic origins (parmesan)
•Differing national treatment of Gis
-weaker: (Canada, US) “Canadian Champagne;”
“American-made Pecorino cheese”
-stronger: (EU) GI use reserved to producers in the
region, even if other origin is indicated
Geographical indications and
• GIs are closely related to
trademarks; both indicate product
• GIs and trademarks differ in two ways:
to a particular
1. A trademark belongs
company; it distinguishes that
company’s products. GIs are shared by
all producers in the region identified by
2. Gis are attached to a location;but
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL BENEFITS OF GI
• Higher retail price and better distribution of
economic returns for primary producers
• Capitalize on consumers’ desire for authentic,
quality products - 1999 consumer survey -40%
of EU consumers ready to pay premium price
for origin-guaranteed products
• Production of growth: increase production
output and land value
• Legal protection creates opportunities for
investment in a product and region
• Rural development and sustainability: provide
the right owners with the opportunity to get
economic benefits from their geographical
indication and with the right to exclude
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 organization or authority should
represent the interest of producers of the
concerned goods and should file an
affidavit how the applicant claims to
represent their interest.
Application must be made in triplicate.
•The application shall be signed by the
applicant or his agent and must be
accompanied by a statement of case.
Details of the special characteristics and
how those standards are maintained.
STEP2 and 3: Preliminary scrutiny and 21
The applicant should within one month of
the communication in this regard, remedy
STEP4: Show cause notice
If the Registrar has any objection to the
application, he will communicate such
The applicant must respond within two
months or apply for 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.
opposing the GI application
published in the Journal.
• The registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the
• STEP 7: Registration
• Where an application for a GI has been accepted, the
registrar shall register the geographical indication. If
registered the date of filing of the application shall be
deemed to be the date of registration.
• The registrar shall issue to the applicant a certificate with
• the seal of the Geographical indications registry.
Aregistered GI shall be valid for 10 years
and can be renewed on payment of
A case Study of the Basmati Rice
(India-US Basmati Rice Dispute): The Geographical Indication
•In the late 1997, when an American company RiceTec Inc
was granted a patent by the US patent office to call the
aromatic rice grown outside India "Basmati", India objected
As India has been one of the major exporters of
Basmati to several countries and such a grant by the US
patent office was likely to affect its trade.
Since Basmati rice is traditionally grown in India and Pakistan, it was
opined that granting patent to RiceTec violated the Geographical
IndicationsAct under the TRIPS agreement.
Eventually, a request for re-examination of this patent was filed
on April 28, 2000. Soon after filling the re-examination request,
Rice Tec chose to withdraw its claims.
Biopiracy Case Study 2: turmeric
In March 1995, two expatriate Indians at the
University of Mississippi Medical Centre were
granted a US patent for turmeric to be used to heal
The Indian Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR) filed a case with the
US Patent Office challenging the patent on the
grounds of "prior art" i.e already existing
CSIR argued that turmeric has been used for
thousands of years for healing wounds and
rashes and therefore its medicinal use was not a
The claim had to be backed by written
documentation claiming traditional wisdom
•The turmeric case was a landmark judgment
case as it was for the first time that a patent
based on the traditional knowledge of a
developing country was successfully
The CSIR went so far as to present an ancient
Sanskrit text and a paper published in 1953 in
the Journal of the Indian MedicalAssociation.
•Th.e US Patent Office upheld the objection and
cancelled the patent
•It also cancelled several other patent
applications pending for turmeric.