FAQs on Geographical Indicators

Who is an authorised user?

  • A producer of goods can apply for registration as an authorised user
  • It must be in respect of a registered geographical indication
  • He should apply in writing in the prescribed form alongwith prescribed fee
English

Who is a producer in relation to a Geographical Indication?

The persons dealing with three categories of goods are covered under the term Producer:

  1. Agricultural Goods includes the production, processing, trading or dealing
  2. Natural Goods includes exploiting, trading or dealing
  3. Handicrafts or Industrial goods includes making, manufacturing, trading or dealing.
English

Is a registration of a geographical indication compulsory and how does it help the applicant?

Registration is not compulsory. Registration affords better legal protection to facilitate an action for infringement. The registered proprietor and authorised users can initiate infringement actions. The authorised users can also exercise the exclusive right to use the geographical indication.

English

Who can use the registered geographical indication?

An authorised user has the exclusive rights to the use of geographical indication in relation to goods in respect of which it is registered.

English

Can a Geographical Indication be renewed?

It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.

English

What is the effect if a Geographical Indication if it is not renewed?

If a registered geographical indication is not renewed it is liable to be removed from the register.

English

When is a registered Geographical Indication said to be infringed?

  • When an unauthorised user uses a geographical indication that indicates or suggests that such goods originate in a geographical area other than the true place of origin of such goods in a manner which mislead the public as to the geographical origin of such goods.
  • When the use of geographical indication result in an unfair competition including passing off in respect of registered geographical indication.
English

Who can initiate an infringement action?

The registered proprietor or authorised users of a registered geographical indication can initiate an infringement action.

English

Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?

No. A geographical indication is a public property belonging to the producers of the concerned goods. It shall not be the subject matter of assignment, transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such other agreement. However, when an authorised user dies, his right devolves on his successor in title.

English

Can a registered geographical indication or a registered authorised user be removed from the register?

Yes. The Appellate Board or the Registrar of Geographical Indications has the power to remove the geographical indication or an authorised user from the register. Further, on application by an aggrieved person action can be taken.

English

What is a Geographical Indication?

  • It originates from a definite geographical territory.
  • It is used to identify agricultural, natural or manufactured goods
  • The manufactured goods should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory.
  • It should have a special quality or reputation or other characteristics
English

How a geographical indication is different from a trade mark?

A trade mark is a sign which is used in the course of trade and it distinguishes goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Whereas a geographical indication is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.

English

Examples of possible Indian Geographical Indications

  • Basmati Rice
  • Darjeeling Tea
  • Kanchipuram Silk Saree
  • Alphanso Mango
  • Nagpur Orange
  • Kolhapuri Chappal
  • Bikaneri Bhujia
  • Agra Petha
English

What is the benefit of registration of geographical indications?

  • It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
  • Prevents unauthorised use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
  • It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports.
  • It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.
English

Who can apply for the registration of a geographical indication?

  • Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can apply
  • The applicant must represent the interest of the producer
  • The application should be in writing in the prescribed form
  • The application should be addressed to the Registrar of Geographical Indications alongwith prescribed fee.
English

Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication?

Any association of persons, producers,organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor. Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.

English
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