Introduction: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, has proposed the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2023. Published on January 2, 2024, these draft rules aim to bring significant changes to the existing framework established by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Rules, 2002.

Detailed Analysis:

1. Short Title and Commencement: The amendment rules, titled the “Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024,” are set to be in force from the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. Definitions: Several crucial definitions have been introduced, including those for “Adjudicating Officer,” “Appellate Authority,” “Complainant,” and more. Notably, all communications in Chapter VII-A are deemed to be communicated electronically.

3. Chapter VII-A – Adjudication of Certain Penalties: A new chapter, Chapter VII-A, has been inserted, outlining the adjudication process for penalties related to contraventions or defaults under specific sections of the Act. The Adjudicating Officer’s powers, summary proceedings, and factors considered in determining compensation are detailed.

4. Form and Manner of Preferring Appeal: The rules establish the process for filing appeals, including the form, grounds, and necessary documents. The appeal must be filed within sixty days of receiving the Adjudication Officer’s order, with provisions for condoning delays under sufficient cause.

5. Registration of Appeal: Upon receiving an appeal, the Appellant Authority will scrutinize and register it if found in order. Defective appeals can be rectified within a specified period, failing which the appeal may be declined. The Appellant Authority is empowered to extend the rectification period.

6. Disposal of Appeal by Appellant Authority: The process of serving notices, filing replies, and conducting hearings is detailed. The Appellant Authority may confirm, modify, or annul the decision appealed against, and the entire process is expected to be completed within sixty days.

Conclusion: The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2023, signify a significant step towards strengthening the protection of geographical indications. The proposed adjudication process, appeals framework, and defined timelines aim to enhance efficiency and transparency in handling contraventions. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide feedback on these draft rules, ensuring a robust and inclusive legal framework for the registration and protection of geographical indications in India. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is open to objections and suggestions, emphasizing a collaborative approach in shaping these regulations.

*****

MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

(Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade)

NOTIFICATION

New Delhi, the 2nd January, 2024

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2023

G.S.R. 6(E).The following draft rules to further amend the The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Rules, 2002 which the Central Government proposes to make in exercise of the powers conferred by section 87 of the THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999, are hereby published as required by sub-section (1) of the said section for the information of all persons likely to be affected thereby, and notice is hereby given that the said draft rules will be taken into consideration after the expiry of a period of thirty days from the date on which copies of the Gazette of India, in which this notification is published, are made available to the public;

Objections or suggestions, if any, may be addressed to the Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi- 110001 or by e-mail at ipr4-dipp@nic.in;

The objections and suggestions, which may be received from any person with respect to the said draft rules before the expiry of the period so specified, will be considered by the Central Government.

After careful consideration, it was determined that section 107-G of the Draft Patents (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024, will also incorporate the same provisions as outlined in Section 81-G of the Draft Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024.

1. Short title and commencement. (1) These rules may be called the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. Definitions.

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following shall be inserted, namely, —

(x) “Adjudicating Officer” means an officer under Section 3(2) of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 appointed by the Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry;

(y) “applicant” means an aggrieved person who makes an appeal before the Appellate Authority;

(z) “Appellate Authority ” means Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry or an officer under Section 3 of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 appointed by the Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry;

(aa) All types of communication made in the Chapter VII-A will be deemed to be communicated electronically. Provided that the means of communication will be text message or email;

(ab) “Complainant” means an aggrieved person who makes a complaint before the Adjudicating Officer;

3. In the principal rules, after rule 81, the following shall be inserted, namely:

“CHAPTER VII A

ADJUDICATION OF CERTAIN PENALTIES

81A. Adjudication of certain penalties. — (1) Any person may file a complaint under Form GI-11 to the Registrar regarding any contravention or default committed by any person of the provisions contained in sections 38,39, 40, 41, or 42 of the Act.

(2) The complaint shall be accompanied with a statement regarding the circumstances of the fact and evidence in support of the statement.

81B. Appointment of Adjudicating officer: (1). The Registrar may as refer to in Section 3 of the Act, by an order, authorise an officer referred to in section 3, to be adjudicating officer for holding an inquiry and imposing penalty on any person who has committed the contravention or default under the provisions contained in sections 38,39, 40, 41, or 42 of the Act.

(2) Where more than one Adjudicating officer are appointed, the complaint filed by the Complainant(s) will be automatically and randomly allocated by computer resource system to the Adjudicating Officer.

(3) Every Adjudicating officer shall have the powers of a civil court, namely:

(a) Enforcing the attendance of witnesses and compelling the production of documents and material objects; and

(b) Adjudicating Officer shall be deemed to be a public servant under section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

81C. Summary Proceedings when case is not made out. — (1) Where the Adjudicating officer is satisfied that a prima facie case for the maintainability of the Complaint has not been made out under rule 81C, the Adjudicating officer shall quash and dismiss the complaint summarily and pass speaking order within a period of thirty days.

81D. Summary Proceedings when case is made out. — Where the Adjudicating officer is satisfied that a prima facie case for the maintainability of the Complaint has been made out within a period of one month, commence the proceedings via:

(a) Service of Notice to alleged Violator: Adjudicating officer shall serve a copy of notice to the alleged violate within a period of one month from the date of the commission of alleged contravention. A copy of the complaint to the person who has allegedly committed violation defined under Section 81A(1) within a period of seven days. Where it is not practicable so to do on the ground of exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, the complaint shall be sent by registered post.

Provided that the service of Notice under this sub-rule shall be made at the expenses of the Complainant

(b) Written Submissions by the Opposite Party: On receiving a copy of the Complaint, the person who has allegedly committed violation, shall file his statement under Form G-12 within a period of fifteen days from the date of issuance of notice, setting out the facts upon which he relies and evidence in support of the statement, from the date of service of the complaint by the complainant.

(c) Manner of Holding Inquiry: (1) The Adjudicating officer shall issue a notice to the person who has allegedly committed violation under Section 81A, requiring that person to show cause, upon the maintainability of the complaint setting forth the decision there. No Adjudicating officer shall hold an enquiry except upon a complaint in writing made by any officer authorized by a general or special order. The final reasoned/detailed order shall be passed by the adjudicating officer, within a period of sixty days for reasons to be recorded tin writing.

Provided that every notice issued under this sub-rule, shall clearly indicate the nature of breach or non­compliance alleged to have been committed by that person, as the case may be.

(2) While adjudging the quantum of compensation under this Act, the adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following factors, namely:

(a) the amount of gain of unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as a result of the default;

(b) the amount of loss caused to any person as a result of the default;

(c) the repetitive nature of the default.

(d) Extension of time period in exceptional circumstances: (1) The Adjudicating officer may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the further period not exceeding fifteen days, if the said person satisfies the Adjudicating officer that it has sufficient cause for not responding to the notice within the stipulated period, only upon the payment of costs under Section 35B of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The Adjudicating Officer shall hear the parties and pass a speaking order thereon.

2. If, after considering the cause, if any, shown by such person, the adjudicating officer is of the opinion that an inquiry should be held, the adjudicating officer shall issue a notice fixing a date for the appearance of such person. The said person may appear either in person or take the assistance of a advocate as defined under Section 2(a) of the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961) for presenting his case before the adjudicating officer.

3. On the date fixed for hearing and after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the person(s) concerned, the adjudicating officer may, subject to reasons to be recorded in writing, pass any order as he/she thinks fit including an order for adjournment of the hearing to future date by payment of prescribed fee by such person.

4. The adjudicating officer shall, after giving the person referred to in sub-rule (1) above, a reasonable opportunity for hearing in the matter and if, on such inquiry, the adjudicating officer is satisfied that the person has committed the contravention, the adjudicating officer may impose such penalty or award such compensation as the adjudicating officer thinks fit in within ninety days.

5. While holding an inquiry, the adjudicating officer shall have the following powers, namely: –

(a) to summon and enforce the attendance of any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case;

(b) to order for evidence or to produce any document, which in the opinion of the adjudicating officer, may be useful for or relevant to the subject matter of the inquiry.

6. If any person fails, neglects or refuses to appear as required under sub-rule (1) before the adjudicating officer, the adjudicating officer may proceed with the inquiry in the absence of such person after recording the reasons for doing so.

7. Every order passed under sub-rule (4), shall be dated and signed by the Adjudicating officer.

8. The Adjudicating officer shall send a copy of the order passed by it to the concerned person who is in default and to the Registrar.

9. All sums realised by way of penalties under the Act shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India.

81 E. Form and Manner of preferring Appeal. — (1) Whoever aggrieved by any order passed by the adjudicating officer under Section 37B of Jan Vishwas Act (NO. 18 OF 2023) may prefer an appeal in the Form – GI-13 to the appellate authority, who shall be an officer at least one rank above the adjudicating officer, within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the order of Adjudication officer,

Provided that the appellate authority may, if he/she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of sixty days, the appellate authority may condone the delay and allow it to be presented within a further period of not more than thirty days with prescribed fee.

(2) The Appeal to the appellate authority under is to be filed in Form No.GI-1 3 setting forth the grounds of appeal and shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the order against which the appeal is sought. The appeal shall be allocated by computer resource system.

(3) The grounds of appeal and the form of verification shall be signed by the appellant.

Provided that where the party is represented by an authorised representative, a copy of such authorisation in favour of the representative and the written consent thereto by such authorised representative shall also be appended to the appeal:

Provided further that an appeal shall not seek relief(s) therein against more than one order unless the reliefs prayed for are consequential.

(4) The allocation of appeals will be in consonance with the automatic and randomly allocated software system.

(5) Every appeal shall be accompanied by a fee of Rupees five thousand in the form of demand draft payable in favor of the appellant authority or pay through the online portal.

81 F. Registration of appeal. — (1) On the receipt of an appeal, the appellant authority shall endorse the date on such appeal and shall sign such endorsement.

(2) If, on scrutiny, the appeal is found to be in order, it shall be duly registered and given a serial number:

Provided that where the appeal is found to be defective, the appellant authority may allow the appellant such time, not being less than fourteen days following the date of receipt of intimation by the appellant from the appellant authority about the nature of the defects, to rectify the defects and if the appellant fails to rectify such defects within the time period allowed as above, the appellant authority may by order and for reasons to be recorded in writing, decline to register such appeal and communicate such refusal to the appellant within a period of seven days thereof:

Provided further that the appellant authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the period referred to in the first proviso above by a further period of fourteen days if an appellant satisfies the appellant authority that the appellant had sufficient cause for not rectifying the defects within the period of fourteen days referred to in the first proviso.

81 G. Disposal of appeal by appellant authority. – (1) On the admission of the appeal, the appellant authority shall serve a copy of appeal upon the opposite party along-with a notice requiring such party to file his reply thereto within such period, not exceeding twenty-one days, as may be stipulated by the appellant authority in the said notice:

Provided that the appellant authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the period referred to in sub-rule (1) above for a further period of twenty-one days, if the adjudicating officer satisfies the appellant authority that he had sufficient cause for not being able to file his reply to the appeal within the above-said period of twenty-one days.

(2). A copy of every reply, application or written representation filed by the opposite party before the appellant authority shall be forthwith served on the appellant by the appellant authority through electric modes of communication.

(3) The appellant authority shall notify the parties, the date of hearing of the appeal which shall not be a date earlier than thirty days following the date of such notification for hearing of the appeal.

(4) On the date fixed for hearing the appellant authority may, subject to the reasons to be recorded in writing, pass any order as he thinks fit including an order for adjournment of the hearing to a future date subject to the payment of prescribed fees.

81 H. Procedure in appeal. – (1) The appellate authority shall give an opportunity to the appellant to be heard as per the principles of natural justice..

(2) The appellate authority may, at the time of hearing of an appeal, allow the appellant to go into any ground of appeal not specified in the grounds of appeal, if the appellate authority is satisfied that the omission of that ground from the grounds of appeal was not willful or unreasonable.

(3) The appellate authority shall, after making such further inquiry as may be necessary, pass such order, as he thinks just and proper,—

(a) confirming, modifying or annulling the decision or order appealed against; or

(b) referring the matter back to the adjudicating officer with directions for fresh adjudication within a period not exceeding ninety days, as the case may be, where an order or decision has been passed without following the principles of natural justice;

Provided that an order enhancing any penalty or fine shall not be passed unless the appellant has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the proposed order:

(4) The order of the appellant authority disposing of the appeal shall be in writing by giving a reasoned order and
shall state the points for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for the decision.

(5) The appellant authority shall, where it is possible to do so, hear and decide every appeal within a period of sixty days from the date on which it is filed.

(6) The appellate authority may, if sufficient cause is shown at any stage of hearing of an appeal, grant time, from time to time, to the parties or any of them and adjourn the hearing of the appeal for reasons to be recorded in writing:

Provided that no such adjournment shall be granted not more than one time, with cost, to a party during hearing of the appeal.

Provided further that not more than two additional adjournments shall be granted more than one time to a party during hearing of the appeal with cost.

(7) In case the appellant or the opposite party does not appear on the date fixed for hearing, the appellant authority may dispose the appeal ex-parte. Where applicant fails to appear before appellant on the date fixed

Provided that where the appellant appears afterwards and satisfies the appellant authority that there was sufficient cause for his nonappearance, the appellant authority may make an order setting aside the ex-parte order and restore the appeal.

(8) On the disposal of the appeal, the appellant authority shall communicate the reasoned order passed by appellant authority to the appellant, the adjudicating officer.

(a) The order of appellant authority shall be in writing and shall state briefly the grounds for the decision.

(b) The order referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be dated and signed by the appellant authority hearing the appeal.

(9). A certified copy of every order passed by the appellate authority shall be communicated to the adjudicating officer and to the appellant forthwith and to the Central Government.

4. In the principal rules, in the SECOND SCHEDULE, after Form GI-10, the following form shall be inserted, namely:

“FORM GI-11
THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999
&
The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) RULES, 2002
COMPLAINT FOR CONTRAVENTION OR DEFAULT OF SECTIONS 42(1)
[See rule 81A]

1. Particulars of Complainant: –

a. Name:

b. Address for service:

c. Contact no.:

d. Email (for service):

2. Particulars of Complaint: –

a. Date, time, and instance of commission of the alleged contravention or default:

b. Statement of contravention or default setting out all relevant material particulars:

c. Evidence in support of the statement:

I/We……………………………. , the Complainant herein declare that the facts stated herein are correct to the best of my/our knowledge, information and belief.
3. Signature of the Complainant: Signature……………….
4. Name of the natural person who has signed: (……………………. )
To,
The Registrar of Geographical Indications,
The Geographical Indications Office,
at…………………
Note. – Strike out whichever is not applicable.”

5. In the principal rules, in the SECOND SCHEDULE, for Form GI-12, the following form shall be substituted, namely:

“FORM GI-12”
THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999
&
The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) RULES,
2002
WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO COMPLAINT OF CONTRAVENTION OR DEFAULT BY OPPOSITE PARTY
[See sections 42(1); rules 81A,81B]
1. State the name, address and nationality. I we ………………………………………………..
……………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………….
hereby give a counter statement: – to the Complaint made in FORM GI-11
The grounds in which the counter statement is made are as follows:
…………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………
2. Complete address including postal index number/ code and state along with Telephone and fax number(s). My/ Our address for service in India is: …………………………………………………………..
……………………………………………………………
Dated this ………. day of ………20
3. To be signed by the opponent Signature. …………………
4. Name of the natural person who has signed (………………….)
To,
The Registrar of Geographical Indications,
The Geographical Indications Office,
At……….
Note. – (a) Strike out whichever is not applicable.

(b) For fee: See First Schedule.”

“FORM GI-13”
THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999
&The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) RULES, 2002
APPEAL under Section 37B of the Act
[See rule 81-E]
1.Particulars of Appellant: –

a. Name:

b. Address for service:

c. Contact no.:

d. Email (for service):

2. Settlement of Appeal: – (A statement of case may be separately attached.)
I/We……………… , the Appellant herein declare that the facts stated here in are correct to the best of my/our knowledge, information and belief.
3. Signature of the Appellant: Signature………………..
4. Name of the natural person who has signed: (……………………. )
To,
The Registrar of GI,
GI Registry,
at…………………
Note. – Strike out whichever is not applicable.”

[F. No. P-24027/11/2023-O/o Dir(K)-DPIIT]
HIMANI PANDE, Jt. Secy.

Note: The principal rules were published in the Gazette of India; Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i) vide notification number G.S.R. 176 (E), dated 8th day of March 2002 and last amended vide notification number G.S.R. 528 (E) dated the 26th August, 2020.

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