Until recently, people were not able to register Geographical indications in India and as there was an absence of statutory protection; Indian geographical indications had been also misused by persons stays outside India to show that goods are not originating from the named locality in India.
Patenting turmeric, neem and basmati are the examples which took a lot of attention towards the aspect of the Intellectual property.
Geographical Indications is covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement that was part of the Agreements that concludes the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. India follows the provisions Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999.
The Geographical indication act,1999 was enforced with effect from 15th September 2003. This Act provides for the registration and also gives protection to geographical indications that relates to goods in India.
Examples of Indian Geographical Indications are Darjeeling Tea, Kanchipuram Silk Saree, Alphanso Mango, Nagpur Orange, Kolhapuri Chappal etc,.
STEP 1: Filing of application – The applicant should file an application for seeking the status of geographical indication in triplicate format and signed by the applicant or his agent accompanied by a statement of case.
STEP 2 and 3: Preliminary scrutiny and examination. The Examiner will scrutinize the application for any deficiencies which has to be rectified within one month of the communication in this regard.
STEP 4: Show cause notice If the Registrar gets any objection to the application form any third party, he will communicate such objection to the applicant. The applicant must respond within two months of receiving the notice.
STEP 5: Publication in the geographical indications Journal- Every application if accepted, within three months of acceptance shall be published in the Geographical Indications Journal.
STEP 6: Opposition to Registration – Any person can file a notice of opposition within three months opposing the GI application published in the Journal. The registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant which the applicant has to reply within 2 months. If he does not do this be shall be deemed to have abandoned his application
STEP 7: Registration – Where an applicant has complied all the above formalitis, the registrar shall register the geographical indication and shall issue to the applicant a certificate with the seal of the Geographical indications registry.
STEP 8: Renewal – A registered GI has to renew the licence every after 10 years on payment of renewal fee.
STEP 9: Additional protection to notified goods – Additional protection for notified goods is provided in the Act.
STEP 10: Appeal against the order – Any person aggrieved by an order or decision may prefer an appeal to the intellectual property appellate board (IPAB) within three months.
Author- Adv.Shivam Kumar
Legel and content Executive, Taxblock India Pvt. Ltd