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What is the Geographical Indication and how it is different from Trademark?

Nov 16, 2017 19:18 IST
    What is the Geographical Indication and how it is different from Trademark?

    We always hear about Kanchipuram Silk Saree, Alphanso Mango, Nagpur Orange, Kolhapuri Chappal, Bikaneri Bhujia, Agra Petha, Muzzafar Litchi and recently Rosogullah of West Bengal etc., but do you know it is Geographical Indication tags given to particular products from particular region only.

    What is the Geographical Indications (GI)?

    Geographical Indications (GI) is a sign on the product which denotes the specific geographical origin and possesses qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In other words, we can say it envision the quality assurance and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.

    Governing Body for Geographical Indication

    1. International Level: It is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs. They are also covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.

    2. In India: Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 is a governing body that administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications. It enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.

    Global Agricultural Heritage Systems GIAHS Sites in India

    Rights Provided by Geographical Indication

    1. It covered as element of Intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.

    2. Registration of a Geographical Indication confers the following rights on the registered proprietor and the authorised users.

    3. Right to obtain relief in respect of the infringement of the Geographical Indication.

    4. Exclusive right to the use of the Geographical Indication in relation to the goods in respect of which Geographical Indication is registered.

    5. Two or more authorised users of a registered Geographical Indication shall have co-equal rights.

    Difference between Geographical Indication and Trademark



    It envisions that the product comes from a particular place/region.

    It envisions that the product comes from a particular enterprise/company.

    Right is enjoyed by a community / association of producers = community right

    Right enjoyed by only one person/company = individual right.

    Given for “Goods” (physical stuff)

    Can be goods (mobile, PC etc.) or service (e.g. Music, spa etc.)

    Geographical Indication plays a very important role to increase the realm of the market. It boosts exports as well tourism and more importantly, it indirectly leads to sustainable development.

    Certification Marks issued for different products in India

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