Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pakistan to challenge India’s application for exclusive GI tag for Basmati rice in EU

Topics Covered: IP related issues.

Pakistan to challenge India’s application for exclusive GI tag for Basmati rice in EU:


Context:

Pakistan has decided to file its opposition in the European Union in response to India’s application for an exclusive Geographical Indications (GI) tag to Basmati rice.

Why Pakistan is approaching EU? What are the provisions in this regard?

Pakistan enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March this year, which gives it the right to oppose Indian application for registration of Basmati rice exclusive rights.

While India has said that it is an Indian-origin product in its application, published in the EU’s official journal on September 11.

  • As per the EU’s official journal, any country can oppose the application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2) (a) of Regulations (EU) of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs within three month from the date of publication.

Claims by Pakistan:

Pakistan said it was a major grower and producer of Basmati rice and India’s application for exclusivity is unjustified.

Background:

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

Basics:

About GI tag:

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

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

What are the benefits?

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.

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.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is GI tag?
  2. Who grants?
  3. GI products in India and their geographical locations.
  4. Other IPRs.
  5. What is EU? Various institutions under it.

Mains Link:

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

Sources: the Hindu.