Any signs that identify the products as originating in the jurisdiction of a country, or an area or locality within that territory, provided that the product’s quality reputation or other characteristics are due to its geographical origin. This means that geographical signs must suggest that a commodity of a specific origin has a certain consistency, prestige, or other attributes that are primarily due to its geographic origin.

Geographical indications are a type of intellectual property under the TRIPS Agreement (“IP”). “Geographical Indications,” or “GIs,” are defined as “indications that identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality within that territory, where a given quality, reputation, or another characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin,” according to Article 22(1) of the TRIPS Agreement. They are source markers in the first place; they mark products as coming from a certain territory, or a certain area or locality within that jurisdiction. Geographical signs are often quality indicators since they inform buyers that the products come from a region where the goods’ quality, prestige, or other attribute is largely due to their place. Furthermore, GIs are commercial interests? The sole purpose of GIs is to encourage the products of a specific region. Finally, GIs are intellectual property for the TRIPS Agreement, making them liable for protection against acts of piracy and/or unfair competition.
Geographical signs are used to denote the geographical origin of specific items, whether they are agricultural products or industrial goods, as long as the goods’ specific features are derived from their geographic origin. A GI can be used by any producer who meets the GI owner’s requirements. In the United States, a GI may be owned by any legal body, including a country, a producer group, or even an individual.

Some examples of GI are:

Basmati Rice
Darjeeling Tea
Kanchipuram Silk Saree
Alphanso Mango
Nagpur Orange
Kolhapuri Chappal
Bikaneri Bhujia

Under the geographical indications of goods (registration and protection) act 1999 an application can be made for registering a geographical indication by an association of persons or producers or any organization or authority representing the interests of the producers of the goods concerned under section 11 of the act.

The application must contain:

1. a statement of how the geographical indication is to designate the goods as originating from the concerned territory in terms of quality, reputation, or other characteristics that are due exclusively or primarily to the geographical environment, with its inherent natural and human factors, and the production, processing, or preparation of which takes place in the concerned territory.

2. the type of goods that will be covered by the geographical indication.

3. a geographical map of the land, province, or locality in which the products originate or are manufactured;

4. details about the appearance of the geographical indication, such as whether it contains words, figurative elements, or both;

5. a declaration containing such information about the suppliers of the products in question, if any, as may be required for the initial registration of the geographical indication; and any other information as may be required.

The geographical indication will be registered until the registrar accepts an application for registration and where the opposition has been rejected.

If real, the registration of a geographical indication gives the registered proprietor and the permitted user or consumers the right to seek relief for infringements of the geographical indication, as well as exclusive permission to use the geographical indication about the products for which it is registered. Just a passing-off action may be taken for an unregistered geographical indication.

Section 9 of the act prohibits the registration of the following geographical indications:

1. which would be likely to mislead or create misunderstanding if used;

2. which, if used, will violate any currently enacted law;

3. which includes or incorporates indecent or scandalous material;

4. which includes or incorporates any material that has the potential to damage the religious sensibilities of any class or person of India.

5. In a court of trial, it will be ineligible for legal defence.

6. which have been determined to be generic names or indications of goods and, as a result, are not or no longer protected in their country of origin, or have fallen out of use in that country;7. which, though actually accurate as to the country, area, or locality in which the goods originate, but wrongly reflect the public that the goods originate in another territory, region, or locality, as the case may be, shall not be registered as a geographical indication.

According to section 18 of the act, a geographical indication is registered for a term of ten years and may be extended for another ten years by applying in a specified manner, within the prescribed time frame, and paying the prescribed fees.


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