GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS Geographical Indications with respect to goods, means an indication that which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of country , or region or an locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin & in case where such goods are manufactured goods, one of the activities of either the production / of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or an locality, as the case may be. Filing The Protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) in India is governed by “The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999”. The Geographical Indications Registry for the purposes of registration of the GIs, is located in Chennai. Who Is Entitled To Apply? Any association of persons, or of producers, or of organization or an authority established by or under the law can apply for registration of GIs. The applicant should ideally represent the interest of the producers. Producers are those persons who deal with the following three categories of goods: a) Agricultural Goods includes the production, processing, trading or dealing; b) Natural Goods consisting of exploiting, trading or dealing; c) Handicrafts or Industrial goods consist of making, manufacturing, trading or dealing Filing Requirements The application for Registration of GI is filed at the Office of the GI Registry located in Chennai. The application must adhere to the various requirements and criteria prescribed under the GI Rules. All those goods that have been classified in different classes in accordance with the International Classification of goods for the purposes of registration of Geographical Indications. Prosecution Once the Application for Registration of GI is filed at the GI Registry, the Registrar will have the Application examined and may consult a expert group to verify the technical details. Thereafter, the examination report is issued and approximately after 3 months to which the applicant replies. If the registrar is satisfied it then accepts the application which will then be published in the GI journal. If the applicant does not reply within 2 months, the application is deemed to be rejected. The applicant can appeal within 1 month against decision of the registrar on the reply. Opposition Any person can oppose the registration of geographical indication by giving a notice in writing of opposition to the Registrar within a period of three (3) months in the Journal, from the date of advertisement of the application. The Applicant has to send a counter statement to the Registrar within two (2) months from the date of receipt, stating the grounds that he relies on for making the application. Within a period of two (2) months (extendible to three months) from the date of receipt of the counterstatement, the opponent shall submit the evidence in support of his application. Ordinarily, within three (3) months from the date of completion of the evidence, the registrar shall give both the parties one-month notice of hearing. After hearing the parties and considering the evidence presented the registrar shall consider whether or subject to what limitations the registration shall be granted. Registration & Renewal Registration of a GI confers the following rights on the registered proprietor and the authorized users:
Right to obtain relief in respect of infringement of GI.
Exclusive right to utilize the GI in relation to the goods in respect of which GI is registered.
Two or more authorized users of a registered GI shall have co-equal rights.
The registration of GI is valid for a period of ten (10) years, and may be renewed thereafter from time to time.