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.
- 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.