INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

INTRODUCTION TO THE ACT

Every place has something unique, something special of its own which needs to be identified by its name. This right is given by the government to its citizens in the form of geographical indications. Geographical indications have the purpose to protect the products which are famous because of certain qualities which they acquire from the place in which they originated.

India was not having Geographical indication Act in its Intellectual Property Laws bucket from the very starting. Earlier, goods in India were recognized and protected under Certification Trademark [CTM]1, whose most common example is Darjeeling Tea. A survey of some decided cases revealed that Indian courts have maintained the action to protect geographical index2. Scotch Whisky Association vs. Pravara Sahakar Karkhana Ltd.3 is a leading case in this context.

Government of India then established a sui generis4 system of Geographical indication protection with the enactment of ‘The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999’, coupled with the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002. The act has been divided into nine parts.

TOUR TO INDIAN GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

India, a land with diversity has been granted with a total number of 346 geographical indications till date from different parts of the land. Geographical Indications can be found from a variety of areas such as handicrafts, textiles, agriculture, foodstuff, natural goods, etc.

There is no sincere love more than love for food and this is completely proven by Indians as India consist of a variety of culture, languages, and food is itself a thorough emotion and it showcases the county’s uniqueness.

Thinking about some of the most famous food items like rasgullas, mangos, laddoos, etc., give a sense of craving and these things have surely attracted the world and have received geographical indications.

1) RASGULLAS-

                 We all know that West Bengal is famous for its sweet dishes mainly rasgullas but the                                        twist is that Bengal is not the only place famous for rasgullas, we have Odhisha has a geographical indication in its name for its rasagola. So, we have 2 Geographical indications-Banglar rasagola and Odhisha Rasagula.

2) Dharwad Pedha-

                    It is a unique sweet delicacy from the state of Karnataka got its name from the city of Dharwad and has a history of about 175 years.

3) Silao Khaja

                 A sweet dish with multi-layers famous for its crispness has grabbed the attention of various archeologists and has made its way to Geographical indication list, is originated from Silao, Bihar.              

 

4) Kadaknath Black Chicken Meat

                          Never heard before the chicken has grab the attention with its unique quality of being completely black. Apart from its meat, its bones and some organs are also black and it has a high content of protein famously found in the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh.     

These are some more food Geographical Indications from India-                      

SNO. GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS STATE
1. Bardhaman Mihidana West Bengal
2. Ratlami Sev Madhya Pradesh
3. Srivilliputtur Palkova Tamil Nadu
4. Chettinad Chicken Tamil Nadu
5. Tirupati Laddu Andhra Pradesh
6. Joynagar Moa West Bengal
7. Dehradun Bal Mithai Uttrakhand

Till now we have understood that food items have special status but what about the recipes? 

 This is a very debatable topic as it is not clear whether recipes will come under IPR or not. But, this is clear that they will not come under geographical indications because there is no such recipe that is famous for a particular region and, for the same food item recipes do change from place to place.

Recipes may get IP protection under copyright or patent but, still need to meet some special terms.

CONCLUSION

Geographic Indication certainly requires legal protection. With such protection, the natural rights owned by the right holder can be guaranteed and a sense of security can be realized. A product yielded from nature and human creativity with certain distinctive characteristics, cannot be found elsewhere, and has a reputation that can increase the competitive advantages of a region, should get more attention from the government, especially the local government. The legal protection of geographical indication not only provides economic benefits to the right holder but also to the geographical environment where the product is originally generated.

1-Kasturi Das, Socio-Economic Implication of Protecting Geographical Indications in India, August 2009

2-Tushar Kanti Saha and Nalin Bharti, Beyond Wines and Spirits: Developing Countries ‘GI Products and their Potential in WTO Regime with Special References to India.

3-AIR 1992 Bom 294

4-Unique

-HARSHITA AGARWAL

AMITY LAW SCHOOL, NOIDA

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