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Basmati GI tag

Topics Covered: IP related issues.

Basmati GI tag

What to study?

For Prelims: What is GI tag, GI tag for Basmati.

For Mains: Relevance and significance of GI tag.

Context: Madhya Pradesh government’s struggle to join the elite ‘basmati’ league has failed once again as the Madras high court has dismissed the state’s plea seeking geographical indication (GI) tag for basmati rice grown in areas falling under the state.

What has the Court said?

Two GI certificates of registration for a same produce cannot be issued.

The petitioners have an alternative and efficacious remedy available by filing an application to the registrar of trademark seeking to cancel or vary the GI certificate issued to APEDA.

What’s the issue?

In May 2010, GI status was given to basmati grown only in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

But, Madhya Pradesh demanded that its 13 districts be recognised as traditional Basmati growing regions.

However, GI registry had rejected Madhya Pradesh’s claim as being the original and unique basmati growing region. It had observed that the documents and evidence filed by Madhya Pradesh show the importance, special characters of rice cultivated in Madhya Pradesh but not the basmati cultivation in the traditional growing area.

What’s the concern now?

Madhya Pradesh says non-inclusion of the state in the basmati growing areas would have an adverse effect on the lives of farmers who mainly depend upon basmati cultivation and it will also affect the export potential, which will indirectly reduce the country’s turnover from the export of basmati.

About GI tag:

What is it?

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

Significance of a GI tag:

Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Security:

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

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.

How long the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?

The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.

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

What is the difference between a geographical indication and a trademark?

A trademark is a sign used by an enterprise to distinguish its goods and services from those of other enterprises. It gives its owner the right to exclude others from using the trademark.

A geographical indication tells consumers that a product is produced in a certain place and has certain characteristics that are due to that place of production. It may be used by all producers who make their products in the place designated by a geographical indication and whose products share typical qualities.

Who accords and regulates Geographical Indications?

At the International level: Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. GI is also governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

Insta Link:

  1. What is GI tag?
  2. Who grants?
  3. GI products in India and their geographical locations.
  4. Other IPRs.

Mains Link:

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss it’s significance.

Sources: the Hindu.