A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. Geographical indications are valuable rights, which if not adequately protected, can be misused by dishonest commercial operators to the detriment of both the consumers and the legitimate users.
Unless a geographical indication is protected in country of its origin there is no obligation under the TRIPs agreement for other country to extend reciprocal protection. India has, therefore, enacted the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.
Process Of Registration:
- The application for registration of Geographical indication may be made by any association or persons or producers or any oraganisations or authority established by or under any law representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods. to the Registrar of Geographical Indications in the form prescribed under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (the GI Act) read with the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 (the GI Rules).
- The duration of Geographical indication shall be initially for a period of ten years but it may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Benefit Of Registration:
- By registering a geographical indication in India, the rights holder can prevent unauthorized use of the registered geographical indication by others by initiating infringement action by way of a civil suit or criminal complaint.
- Registered geographical indications are not transferable by assignment or license and pass to the owner’s successor in title.