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Geographical indicators and agriculture
2/14/2018 11:11:11 PM
Dr. Parveen Kumar, Dr. R. K. Arora, Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma

Innovations are must for development. Innovations bring out new products for the members of the social system. The new innovations are specific to a place or a person A Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin. The use of geographical indication may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods or enjoys a certain reputation due to its geographical origin. This is a sign that identifies that a product has originating from a particular location and which gives that product a special quality or reputation or other characteristic. The GI tag is an indication which is definite to a geographical territory. A registered GI is a public property which belongs to the producers of the goods. It cannot be used for licensing, pledge, and mortgage. After the demise of the authorized dealer, his right can be exercised by the successor. The place of origin is prefixed before the product. The GI is a mechanism under the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) by virtue of which a state can bring various products related to different subjects under IPR. This registers the product as the property of the person/group/institution or a state and cannot be pilfered or stolen. The WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) defines geographical indications as indications that identify a good as originating in the territory of a member where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin. Article 22 of the TRIPS agreement further says that all governments must provide legal opportunities in their own laws for the owner of a GI registered in that country to prevent the use of marks that mislead the public as to the geographical origin of the world. Article 23 of the TRIPS says that all governments must provide the owners of the GI the right under their laws to prevent the use of a geographical indication identifying wines not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indications.
The Indian parliament enacted in 1999 'The Geographical indications of Goods (Regulation and protection Act) for registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods. Under section 1(e) it is defined that geographical indication in relation to goods means an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating in the territory, where a given quality reputation or other characteristic of such good is essentially attributed to its geographical origin and the case where such goods are manufactured goods, one of the activities of either the production or processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality as the case may be. The TRIPS also contains two protection standards for GI and article 22(2) require countries to provide a legal means to prevent the use of GI that suggest that the goods originate in a geographical area other than the true place of origin. Article 22(3) requires that the countries should keep in place a legal means to invalidate the registration of trademarks which contain or consist of a GI with respect to goods not originating in the territory indicated. In India the act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, who is also the Registrar of Geographical Indications.
In 2004-05 Darjeeling tea become the first GI tagged product in India in 2004-05. Since than 295 products have been awarded GI tag in India till May 2017.Similarly the famed Uttrakhand Tejpatta, a popular spice has been awarded a geographical indication certificate making it the first product indigenous to the state to have made it to the GI list. In agriculture too various products have been developed at different places in the country which became the Geographical Indicators of that specific area. In the state of Jammu and Kashmir Basmati rice famous for its aroma, Bhaderwahi Rajmash from Bhaderwah, Saffron from Anantnag (Kashmir) and Harlot from Batote from Ramban are specific to these places which can be patented and trademarked. The government of Jammu and Kashmir also claimed to bring about 100 agricultural commodities of the state under Geographical indication to avoid misbranding of unique local products.
The world famous Darjeeling tea, the Chanapatna toys, the Mysore silk and sarees, the Madhubani paintings, the Kanchipuram silk sarees, the Alphonso Mango and the Oranges from Nagpur, the Kolhapuri chappal and Petha of the city of Taj (Agra) are the examples of a region boosting of something unique to it. Nilambur teak, internationally known for its superior quality and elegant appearance will soon be added to the list of products with the GI tag. It is a unique variety of timber found in the state of Kerala. Although the procedure is complicated as the genotype has to be identified and foliage has to be produced with distinct characters for particular branding but the registered geographical indications have the exclusive rights to exploit or use the GI's products in the course of trade. The authorized users are allowed to issue infringements and at the same time preventing unauthorized use of a registered GI by others. Legal protection to Indian goods also boosts exports and promotes economic prosperity of the producers of goods produced in a geographical territory. GI tag makes us proud of the various products of our country.
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