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Pakistan Gets Geographical Indicator Tag For Basmati Rice

Topics Covered: IP related issues.

Pakistan Gets Geographical Indicator Tag For Basmati Rice:


Context:

Pakistan has received the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati, paving the way for creating a local registry for the particular strain of rice and making a case in the international market.

Why India is concerned?

Laws require that before applying for registration of any product in the international market it has to be protected under the geographical indication laws of that country.

  • And Pakistan is fighting a case in the 27-member European Union against India’s move to get Basmati rice registered as its product.

Implications:

It is believed that a GI tag would strengthen Pakistan’s case in the EU. The issue of protecting Basmati rice as a product of Pakistan came to the forefront after India submitted an application to the European Union claiming sole ownership of the commodity in September last year.

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.

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: Indian Express.