06 geographical indications


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06 geographical indications

  1. 1. © Brain League IP Services Private Limited - 2011 1 GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS eographical Indications1 of goods are indications of quality, reputation or characteristics of the goods attributed with the region from which the goods originate. They indicate origin of goods having certain quality, reputation or characteristics from a specific geographical region. The goods may be agricultural, natural or manufactured goods. In case of manufactured goods, production, processing or preparation should take place in that geographical region. The name associated with the goods might not be the name of the geographical area or region. It is sufficient if the name is associated and recognized with the geographical area. Requirements Geographical indications have to be registered in the relevant class and in the geographical territory, region or locality to which they belong. A geographical indication cannot be registered if: 2 a. its use is likely to deceive or cause confusion; or b. its use would be contrary to any law for the time being in force; or c. it comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter; or d. it comprises or contains any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of India; or e. it would be disentitled to protection in a court; or f. it is determined to be generic name or indication of goods or g. it falsely represents to the persons that the goods originate in a wrongful territory, region or locality, as the case may be. 1 The Geographical Indications of Goods( Registration And Protection) Act, 1999, Section 2 (e): Definition and Interpretation. 2 Section 9 of the Act: Prohibition of registration of certain geographical indications. G
  2. 2. © Brain League IP Services Private Limited - 2011 2 Process of Registration An applicant for a Geographical Indication 3 may be any association of persons or producers or any organization or authority representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods. The applicant must file an application for registration of the Geographical Indications in a prescribed form with the Registrar along with the prescribed fee. The application should contain4 : i. statement as to how the geographical indication serves to designate the goods as originating from the concerned territory of the country or region or locality in the country in respect of specific quality, reputation or other characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical region; ii. the class of goods to which the geographical indication shall apply; iii. the geographical map of the territory of the country or region or locality in the country in which the goods originate or are being manufactured; iv. the particulars regarding the appearance of the geographical indication; v. a statement containing such particulars of the producers of the concerned goods, if any; and vi. such other particulars as may be prescribed. Once the application is filed, the registrar will examine the application and reject or accept it with or without conditions. The application will then be advertised and laid open for opposition. In case of an opposition, the registrar will give an opportunity for the application to respond and will call for a hearing if required. On completion of the opposition period or after successfully passing the opposition the application will be registered and a certificate of registration will be issued. 3 Section 11 (1) of the Act: Application for Registration 4 Section 11(2) of the Act: Contents of Application
  3. 3. © Brain League IP Services Private Limited - 2011 3 Term5 On registration, the Geographical Indication gets protection for an initial term of 10 years. The protection may be extended by filing for renewals at regular intervals. Rights Registration of a Geographical Indication gives the registered proprietor or authorized user the right to obtain relief for infringement of the Geographical Indication6 . The authorized users get the exclusive right to use the Geographical Indication7 . The rights over the Geographical Indication are subject to the conditions of registration8 . Infringement 1. A Geographical Indication is said to be infringed if a person without authorization (a) uses such Geographical Indication by any means in the designations or presentation of goods that indicates or suggests that such goods originate in a geographical area other than the true place of origin of such goods in a manner which misleads the persons as to the geographical origin of such goods9 ; or (b) uses any geographical indication in such manner which constitutes an act of unfair competition including passing off in respect of registered geographical indication10 . (c) uses another geographical indication to the goods which, although literally true as to the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate, falsely represents to the persons that 5 Section 18: Duration, Renewal, Removal and Restoration of Registration. 6 Section 21(1)(a) : Rights conferred by Registration. 7 Section 21(1)(b) : Rights conferred by Registration. 8 Section 21 (2) : Condition and Limitation to the exclusive right given under section(b) of subsection (1). 9 Section 22 (1)(a) : Infringement or Registered geographical indications. 10 Section 22 (1)(b) of the Act.
  4. 4. © Brain League IP Services Private Limited - 2011 4 the goods originate in the territory, region or locality in respect of which such registered geographical indication relates11 . 2. The Central Government may, if it thinks necessary so to do for providing additional protection to certain goods or classes of goods under sub section (3), by notification in the official gazette, specify such goods or class or classes of goods, for purposes of such protection12 . 3. Any person who is not an authorized user of a geographical indication registered under this Act in respect of the goods or any class or classes of goods notified under subsection (2) , uses any other geographical indication to such goods or class or classes of goods not originating in the place indicated by such other geographical indications uses such other geographical indication to such goods or class or classes of goods even indicating the true origin of such goods or uses such other geographical indication to such goods or class or classes of goods in translation of the true place of origin or accompanied by expression such as “kind”, “style”, “imitation” or the like expression, shall infringe such registered geographical indication13 . 4. Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, where the goods in respect of which a geographical indication has been registered are lawfully acquired by a person other than the authorized user of such geographical indication, further dealings in those goods by such person including processing or packaging, shall not constitute an infringement of such geographical indication, except where the condition of goods is impaired after they have been put in the market14 . Suggested Further Reading Birds eye view of GI 11 Section 22(1)(c) of the Act. 12 Section 22 (2) of the Act. 13 Section 22(3) of the Act. 14 Section 22 (4) of the Act.