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T C James Director Ministry of Commerce & Industry

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1 T C James Director Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act and its Implementation T C James Director Ministry of Commerce & Industry

2 PRIOR TO THE GI ACT Common law system of jurisprudence and remedy of ‘passing off’ action. Indian courts repeatedly held that use of GI as trade mark is false trade description under the Trade Marks Act.

3 A sui generic law Options – Trade Mark Law or Sui generic law
Sui generic law considered more appropriate Accordingly, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Bill, 1999 was introduced in Parliament.

4 Wide Definition of GI An indication which identifies goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

5 In case of manufactured goods one of the activities of either the production or processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be (Section 2[1]{e}).

6 Explanation clarifies that GI need not be a geographical name
E.g. Alphonso, Basmati Goods include goods of handicraft or of industry and also foodstuff.

7 Registration Provides for registration
Of GIs, Proprietors & Authorized Users [S.6(1)] Valid for 10 years; renewable ad nauseum (S. 18) Registration prima facie evidence of validity (S. 23)

8 Who can Register? Producer Authorized User [S.17(1)]
Any association of persons or producers, or Any Organization/authority established by or under any law which represent the interests of the producers of the concerned goods [S.11(1)] Producer includes trader Authorized User [S.17(1)]

9 Procedure for Registration: Filing
Application in prescribed form along with fee, statement of the case and map to be filed before Registrar of GIs Statement of Case, inter alia, to contain: How the GI serves to designate the goods as originating from the concerned territory having a special quality, reputation or other characteristic Details of the special characteristics and how those standards are maintained Details of special human skill involved or uniqueness of the geographical environment or the inherent characteristics Details of inspection structure, if any , to regulate the use of the GI.

Examiner scrutinises for any deficiencies Applicant to remedy deficiencies within 1 month of communication Registrar to constitute a Consultative Group of technical and legal experts On the basis of the Consultative Group report, Examination Report will be issued.

11 SHOW CAUSE NOTICE Objection to registration to be communicated in writing Applicant to file reply within 2 months Registrar may also give a hearing Applicant may also correct any particular through separate application Registrar either accepts or rejects the application Decision of Registrar appealable to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Accepted applications are published in the GI Journal, within 3 months, inviting opposition Opposition can be filed by any within months A copy of the opposition to be given to the applicant by the Registrar Applicant to file counter statement within 2 months Registrar to give a copy of the counter statement to the opponent Registrar hears both parties and decides Date of filing will be deemed date of registration.

13 Procedure for Registration
Filing of application before the Registrar Registrar either refuses or accepts subject to conditions Advertisement for opposition 3 months time for opposition If no opposition, registration In case of opposition, copy given to applicant 2 months for filing counter statement

14 Procedure for Registration
If no counter statement, then the application is deemed abandoned Copy of counter statement to the opponent Hearing of parties, if so desired Registrar may add conditions or limitations Registrar can rely suo motu, on grounds of opposition not raised by opponent

15 Rights Section 21 Exclusive right to use the GI on the goods
Right to obtain relief for infringement of the GI

16 Working of the Act Act brought into force on 15 September 2003
GI Registry established at Chennai 128 applications so far 82 products registered No authorised user registered so far No foreign product registered One foreign application (Pisco) published No appeals against the decisions of the Registrar of GIs so far.


18 Darjeeling Tea

19 Kangra Tea

20 Nanjangud Banana

21 Coorg Orange

22 Pochamppalli Ikat

23 Mysore silk

24 Bhavani Jamakkalam

25 Kasuti Embroidery


27 Kota Doria


29 Kullu Shawl

30 Aranmula Kannadi (Mirror)

31 Bidriware

32 Channapatna toys

33 Madhubani Paintings







40 Karimnagar Silver Filigree



43 Aleppy Coir

44 Mysore sandal soap & oil


46 Horticultural Products from Mysore
Udupi mallige Mysore mallige Hadagali mallige

47 Why GI Protection Cultural Arguments Protection of Community Property
Matter of National Pride Protection of Reputation, Goodwill Protection of Quality Protection of the ‘Original’ Product Facing Challenge of Advances in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Protection of Traditional Knowledge.

48 Why GI protection (contd.)
Economic Arguments Protection Against Unfair Competition Demand vs.Supply Advantages of Premium: Niche Market Consumer Perception of Genuineness of goods Higher Prices Attracting Foreign Investors, e.g. partnerships Important Role in Rural Development Employment Generation.

49 Economic Benefits French GI cheeses are sold at a premium of Euro 2
Italian Tuscano oil at a premium of 20% since it has been registered as a GI in 1998 85% French wine exports use GIs 80% EU exported spirits use GIs 40% EU consumers are prepared to pay 10% more for origin guaranteed products. (from

50 Why GI protection (contd.)
International Commerce TRIPS obligation No protection if not protected in the country of origin

51 GIs in West Bengal Bengali Rosgulla Kolkata Round Sapota
Handia jackfruit Churnakati rice Charnock rice

52 Handlooms Bankura Bed sheets, Sarees, Dress Materials, Mixed Fabrics
Baluchar Designed Fabrics, Sarees, Dress Materials Dinajpur Bed sheets, Sarees, Shirtings Kolkota Dress Materials, Shirtings, Sheetings, Sarees Murshidabad Designed Fabrics, Shirtings and Coatings, Sarees, Dress Materials Nadia Mulls, Sarees, Mixed Fabrics, Dress Materials Purulia Jamdhanis, Mulls, Sarees, Dhoties, Dress Materials Shantipur Jamdhanis, Sarees, Dress Materials.

53 Handicrafts Masks Kalighat dolls

54 Handicrafts Sholapith Terracota Dhokra

55 What is to be Done? Protect your Geographical Indications by Registering with the Geographical Indications Registry at Chennai

56 Thank you all

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