What are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?
Intellectual property rights are just like any other property right. They allow creators or owners of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to enjoy the benefit from their efforts.
What are the different forms of IPR?
The different forms of IPR include:
• Industrial Designs
• Geographical Indications (GI)
• Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV & FR)
• Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design (SICLD)
• Trade Secrets/Protection of undisclosed information
What is Geographical Indication or GI TAG?
• It is a form of Intellectual Property Right belonging to a community
• GI Tag indicates a definite geographical origin of a Product
• The GI Tag is given to agricultural, Natural and Manufactured Goods
• A product may be applied for the GI Status provided it has a special quality or reputation or any other peculiar characteristics limited to a specific Geographical territory.
What does a Geographical Indication provide?
A Geographical Indications enables the rightful user to prevent the misuse of such products by a third party who describes the Products
of having specific origin but is made elsewhere
of having certain unique qualities even when they do not.
of having met applicable standards as mentioned in GI Registry, even when it is not
Can a geographical indication be registered in the name of an individual?
No. A Geographical Indication is intended for a community or is a right given to a group. Hence it is not possible to get Geographical Indication registration in the name of an individual.
What are the advantages of registration of Geographical Indication?
Confers legal protection to Geographical Indication Tagged products
No person other than the Producer or those who procure the GI Products from its very Origin and abide by all the applicable standards as mentioned in GI Registry is entitled to Use the name of Such Products.
Negates false Trade Practices
The Geographical Indications Act of India 1999, prevents unauthorized use and imposes penalty and punishment for Using and selling bogus and deceptive GI Tagged products.
Symbol of Authenticity
GI Tagged Products helps consumers Identify between Fake and Genuine Products. All products are guided by Standards whereas GI functions under the Law.
Who can apply for the registration of a geographical indication?
Any association of persons, producers, organization or authority established by or under the law can apply; the applicant must represent the interest of the producers.
Who gives GI Tag in India?
The application has to be filed before Registrar, Geographical Indications, headquartered at Chennai.
What is the registration process for Geographical Indications?
Step 1. Preliminary Examination: Scrutinizing the Application Made
The product seeking the GI Status must fulfill certain criteria’s such as,
Limited to a specific Geographical Region, must be Unique, must carry certain legacy and reputation etc…
Step 2 Examination of Application by a Committee
Detailed Presentation shall be made by the Applicant, Committee shall visit the Production Area.
Objections or Amendments may be asked by the Consultative committee.
Step 3. GI Status
Upon satisfying all the requirements, the Registrar will Publish the latest list of GI Tag products in the GI Journal
What is the time period for getting a GI registered?
The average time taken is around Twelve months from the date of Receipt of Application.
What is the Expiry period of an Geographical Indication Product?
There is no expiry date for Geographical Indications, but the status has to be renewed every 10 years.
Who can use the registered geographical indication?
The registered proprietor or the authorized user has the exclusive right to use geographical indication in relation to goods in respect of which it is registered.
Whether the Geographical Indication Registered in India valid all over the world?
No. Like any other Intellectual Property Rights, Geographical Indications are also territorial. The rights can be enforced in other countries only if it is registered in that particular country.
Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc.?
No. A geographical indication is a public property belonging to the producers of the concerned goods. It shall not be the subject matter of assignment, transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such other agreement. But in the case of an authorized user dies, his right devolves on his successor in title.
When a GI is not registerable?
• When it creates confusion or when it is deceptive.
• When it is against the stipulated laws.
• When it comprises repugnant or obscene content.
• When it is likely to harm religious beliefs.
• When it falsely represents the geographical origin, region or locality or as the case may be.
• When it falsifies the qualities or uniqueness as claimed in the application.
Who is an Authorized User?
The authorized user of a GI Registered under Section 17 can be any person claiming to be a producer of the goods in the definite geographical territory. Such Producer should apply in writing to the GI Registry along with prescribed fee.
What are the benefits that you get by being an Authorized user?
Authorized Users gets the exclusive right to use the Registered Geographical Indication and can independently sue an infringer. The Authorized User can also renew or restore a registered Geographical Indications if the Registered Proprietor fails to renew the same. He further gets the right to be impleaded in any rectification proceedings against a Registered Geographical Indication or Appellate Board
When is a registered Geographical Indication said to be infringed?
Claiming to have produced it in a Geographical territory as mentioned in the GI Registry even when it has been produced elsewhere.
False Representation, using and selling of bogus and deceptive Products.
Not adhering to Geographical Indications Act, 1999 Government of India.
Not adhering to Specifications and standards mentioned in the GI Registry
What is the penalty for GI Infringement?
The GI Act of India (1999) provides for Imprisonment for a term of 6 months that may be extended to 2 years and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000 that may be extended to 2,00,000?
What is the difference between a geographical indication and a trademark?
Geographical Indications represent a good(s) originating from a particular place. But a trademark represents goods or services as originating from a particular company/ individual.
A trademark often consists of a fanciful name, sign, shape, color etc. In contrast, the name used as a geographical indication is usually predetermined by the name of a geographical area.
A trademark can be assigned or licensed to anyone in the world. But a GI may be used by any persons in the area of origin, who produces the good with respect to the prescribed standards. But because of its link with the place of origin, a GI cannot be assigned or licensed to someone outside that place or not belonging to the group of authorized producers.