Geographical Indications in India
The geographical indication is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Some examples are Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Saree, Champagne wine and Kanjeewaram silk.
When India joined the TRIPS, a sui-generis legislation for the protection of geographical indication was enacted in 1999. Article 22 to 24 of the TRIPS prescribes a minimum standard that the WTO members shall provide.
The object of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 is three fold:
- Protect the interest of producers of such goods;
- To exclude unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications and to protect consumers from deception;
- To promote goods bearing Indian geographical indications in the export market.
Under the geographical indication law in India, the right holder can initiate infringement action against unauthorised use of the registered GI by a third party.
List of registered GIs as on October 25, 2017 can be accessed.
A trademark is a sign that an individual trader or company uses to distinguish its own goods or services from the goods or services of competitors.
A geographical indication on the other hand is used to show that certain products have a certain regional origin.
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