What are GI TAG (Geographical indication) and its benefits?

By | December 9, 2020

A Geographical indication means a particular item that has originated from a particular region only. The GI tag is an indication that is definite to a geographical territory. The use of geographical indication may Act as certification and protection that the product perfects specific qualities and is made accordingly to traditional methods or enjoy a certain reputation due to a geographical origin. It ensures that none other than those registered authorized users are allowed to use the popular product name.

To get a GI TAG, a good needs to be produced or processed, or prepared in that region. It is also essential that the product has a special quality or reputation. For example, a Kanchipuram silk saree, an Alphonso mango, A Nagpur orange, a pair of Kolhapur chappal, etc.

How does a GI tag help?

  • A GI tag provides a better market for these products and prevents misuse of the name.
  • GI registration is given to an area, not a trader, but once a product gets the registration, traders dealing in the product can apply for selling it with the GI logo.
  • Authorised traders are each assigned a unique GI number. For example, Kullu shawl has 135 authorized traders. A shawl made in Ludhiana cannot be sold as a Kullu shawl.
  • If any unauthorized trader, even from Kullu, tries to sell a shawl under the name of Kullu shawl, he or she can be prosecuted under The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • GIs are also expected to boost or revive the items whose production has declined.

Benefits of GI Tags

The Geographical Indication registration confers the following benefits:

  • Legal protection to the products
  • Prevents unauthorized use of GI tag products by others
  • It helps consumers to get quality products of desired traits and is assured of the authenticity
  • Promotes the economic prosperity of producers of GI tag goods by enhancing their demand in national and international markets.

Conclusion

  • GIs are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, handicrafts, industrial products, wines, and spirit drinks.
  • Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, GIs are covered as an element of IPRs.
  • GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, the GI tag is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
  • This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications.
  • Internationally, GIs are covered as an element of intellectual property rights under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • They have also covered under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
  • Presently, there is 370 registered GIs in India.

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