India: Protection Of Geographical Indications
A geographical indication is a sign which is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Geographical Indication is primarily granted to agricultural, natural, manufactured, handicraft originating from a definite geographical territory.
Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreements defines Geographical Indication as "indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin".1
Consequently, upon India joining as a member state of the TRIPS Agreement sui-geneis legislation for the protection of geographical indication was enacted in 1999. The object of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, is three fold,
- By specific law governing the geographical indication of goods in the country which could adequately protect the interest of producers of such goods,
- To exclude unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications and to protect consumers from deception and,
- To promote goods bearing Indian Geographical Indication in the export market.2
A registered Geographical Indications prohibit a third party to use such Geographical indication by any means in the designations or presentations of goods that indicate that such goods originates in a geographical area. Read more