Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or sign used against a product which corresponds to a specific region of origin. For example Kancheepuram is famous for Silk. The quality of the silk is associated to its region of Origin Kancheepuram. GI not only protects the product from the region of origin but also attributes to the essential qualities, reputation or characteristic related to the product.
GI assumed its significance recently once the Indian Government realized that it’s a National Asset and signed the treaty of World Trade Organisation. This resulted in enactment of “GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999”. GI helps in protecting the ancient cultural products, traditional methods, our customs and helps in enhancing its promotion and popularity to an International standard.
Importance of Geographical Indication
Many of the products have acquired reputation due to its good quality originating from a particular region for a long period of time. This reputation, if not protected threat, may arise from dishonest commercial operators. It may lead a consumer to by an imitated or duplicate product instead of getting a genuine product depriving its business value and reputation to a larger extent.
In order to prevent such illegal market, right is granted to the producers of such products by means of GI. As GI is a national asset, right is not issued to an individual instead it is granted to associations of persons or manufacturers of the product, or any organization or any authority representing the producers of goods.
The Government registry has certified 193 products as Registered GI’s of India till now. Some of the popular GI’s are Darjeeling Tea, Mysore Silk, Coorg orange etc.
Advantages of Geographical Indication
GI confers effective protection to user and organization for producing the product within the particular region.
Prevents the duplication or imitation of goods by unauthorized users thus maintaining the originality and increasing the economic growth of producers
The registration adds tremendous value to the products and in turn increases the demand of the products within the country and overseas.
Geographical Indication Registration Process - Complete Process
GI registration starts with Search process
Proceed for filing before GI Registry
The application is processed for examination by Registry
Thirdly the application proceeds for Journal Publication
Finally the application is registered by Certification
VALIDITY OF GI REGISTRATION – Valid for a period of ten years but may be renewed from time to time for an unlimited period by payment of the appropriate fees