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Geographical Indications &

Traditional Knowledge
The Syllabus

Basics of GI
Protection of GI at National Level
Protection of GI at International Level
Registration Process in India
Procedure for Filing GI Application
Registered GIs in India
Basics of Traditional Knowledge
Case study Discussions
What is a Geographical Indication?

It is an indication
It originates from a definite geographical territory.
It is used to identify agricultural, natural or
manufactured goods
The manufactured goods should be produced or
processed or prepared in that territory.
It should have a special quality or reputation or
other characteristics
Examples of Indian GIs

Basmati Rice
Darjeeling Tea
Kanchipuram Silk Saree
Alphanso Mango
Nagpur Orange
Kolhapuri Chappal
Bikaneri Bhujia
Agra Petha
Benefits of the Registration of GIs

It confers legal protection to Geographical

Indications in India
Prevents unauthorized use of a Registered
Geographical Indication by others
It provides legal protection to Indian
Geographical Indications which in turn boost
It promotes economic prosperity of producers of
goods produced in a geographical territory.
Who can apply for the registration of a GI ?

Any association of persons, producers,

organization or authority established by or under
the law can apply.
The applicant must represent the interest of the
The application should be in writing in the
prescribed form
The application should be addressed to the
Registrar of Geographical Indications alongwith
prescribed fee.
Who is a registered proprietor of a GI?

Any association of persons, producers,

organization 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.
Who is an authorized user?

A producer of goods can apply for registration as

an authorized user
It must be in respect of a registered geographical
He should apply in writing in the prescribed form
along with prescribed fee
Who is a producer in relation to a GI?

The persons dealing with three categories of

goods are covered under the term Producer:
Agricultural Goods includes the production,
processing, trading or dealing
Natural Goods includes exploiting, trading or
Handicrafts or Industrial goods includes making,
manufacturing, trading or dealing.
Is a registration of a GI compulsory and how
does it help the applicant?

Registration is not compulsory

Registration affords better legal protection to
facilitate an action for infringement
The registered proprietor and authorised users can
initiate infringement actions
The authorised users can exercise the exclusive
right to use the geographical indication.
Validity Period of GI

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.

If a registered geographical indication is not

renewed it is liable to be removed from the
When is a registered GI said to be infringed?

When an unauthorized user uses a geographical

indication 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 mislead the public as to the geographical
origin of such goods.

When the use of geographical indication result in an

unfair competition including passing off in respect of
registered geographical indication.

When the use of another geographical indication

results in false representation to the public that
goods originate in a territory in respect of which a
registered geographical indication relates.
Can a registered geographical indication
be assigned, transmitted, etc?

No. A geographical indication is a public property

belonging to the producers of the concerned

It shall not be the subject matter of assignment,

transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such
other agreement.

However, when an authorized user dies, his right

devolves on his successor in title.
Can a registered GI or a registered
authorized user be removed from the

Yes. The Appellate Board or the Registrar of

Geographical Indications has the power to remove
the geographical indication or an authorized user
from the register. Further, on application by an
aggrieved person action can be taken.
How a geographical indication is different
from a trade mark?

A trade mark is a sign which is used in the course

of trade and it distinguishes goods or services of
one enterprise from those of other enterprises.

Whereas a geographical indication is an indication

used to identify goods having special
characteristics originating from a definite
geographical territory.
Forms of protection of GI on the National level

As regards the various forms of protection of geographical

indications on the national level, three main categories can
be distinguished.
The first category comprises all possibilities of protection
which are not based on a decision taken by the competent
authority establishing protection with respect to a particular
geographical indication, but which result from the direct
application of legislative provisions or principles established
by jurisprudence.
The second category covers the protection of geographical
indications through registration of collective marks (including
agricultural labels) or certification marks (or guarantee
The third category includes all special titles of protection of
geographical indications which result from a decision made
by the competent government authority establishing the
Special Titles of Protection
Comprises the protection of appellations of origin—whether they result
from a registration with the industrial property office, as under the new
Russian law, or from the adoption of decrees, as is the practice in
France since the adoption, in 1919, of a special law for the protection of
appellations of origin.
According to this law, an appellation of origin consists of the name of a
country, region or locality that serves to designate a product originating
therein, the quality and characteristics of which are due to the
geographical environment, including both natural and human factors.
This means that only such products are protected under this special
title which originate from a specific area and which owe their specific
quality to their place of origin.
In order to ensure that the products possess the specified qualities, a
control mechanism has been set up by the competent authorities, and
quality controls are carried out regularly. Only products which comply
with the quality standards are protected by an appellation of origin.
Initially, appellations of origin only concerned wines and spirits, but later
the concept was extended to include other products (such as dairy
products, mainly cheese and butter), poultry and plant products.
Because of the success of the French appellations of origin, the same
or a similar system was introduced also in other countries, mainly in the
sector of wines and spirits.
A) .Protection through Multilateral Treaties

Three multilateral treaties administered by WIPO contain

provisions for the protection of geographical indications:

the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property

the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or

Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods (hereinafter
referred to as the Madrid Agreement), and

the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of

Origin and their International Registration (hereinafter
referred to as the Lisbon Agreement).
(B). Protection through the Provisions of
Bilateral Agreements

A further possibility of international protection of

geographical indications is the conclusion of bilateral
agreements between two states.

A number of countries have entered into such agreements.

In general, such bilateral agreements consist of lists of
geographical indications which were drawn up by the
contracting parties and an undertaking to protect the
geographical indications of the respective contracting

The agreement usually also specifies the kind of protection

that is to be granted. Although in general useful, bilateral
agreements cannot constitute an entirely adequate solution
to the problem of the lack of international protection because
of the multiplicity of negotiations required and, resulting there
from, an inevitable diversity of standards.
(C). Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement on
Geographical Indications
Part II, Section 3 of the TRIPS Agreement is dedicated to
geographical indications. The general norm of protection is
provided by Article 22.2, which reads as follows:
“In respect of geographical indications, Members shall provide
the legal means for interested parties to prevent:
- the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a
good that indicates or suggests that the good in question
originates in a geographical area other than the true place of
the origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the
geographical origin of the good;
- any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition within
the meaning of Article 10bis of the Paris Convention (1967).”
Article 23.1 provides for additional protection for
geographical indications for wines and spirits. It reads
as follows:

“Each Member shall provide the legal means for

interested parties to prevent use of a geographical
indication identifying wines for wines not originating in
the place indicated by the geographical indication in
question or identifying spirits for spirits not originating
in the place indicated by the geographical indication in
question, even where the true origin of the goods is
indicated or the geographical indication is used in
translation or accompanied by the expressions such
as ‘kind,’ ‘type,’ ‘style,’ ‘imitation’ or the like.”
The Law of Unfair Competition

The use of a certain geographical indication for

goods or services not originating from the
respective area may be misleading and thus may
deceive consumers.
Furthermore, such use may constitute a
misappropriation of the goodwill of the person who
is truly entitled to use the geographical indication.
An action for unfair competition—which,
depending on the national law, is either based on
statutory provisions, as interpreted by court
decisions, or on common law—can be instituted in
order to prevent competitors from resorting, in the
course of trade, to such misleading practices.
STEP 1: Filing of application
Please check whether the indication comes within the ambit of the
definition of a Gl under section 2(1)(e).
The association of persons or producers or any organization or
authority should represent the interest of producers of the
concerned goods and should file an affidavit how the applicant
claims to represent their interest.
Application must be made in triplicate.
The application shall be signed by the applicant or his agent and
must be accompanied by a statement of case.
Details of the special characteristics and how those standards are
Three certified copies of the map of the region to which the GI
Details of the inspection structure if any to regulate the use of the
GI in the territory to which it relates.
Give details of the entire applicant together with address. If there is
a large number of producers a collective reference to all the
producers of the goods may be made in the application and the
G.I., If registered will be indicated accordingly in the register.
Apply to:
Geographical Indications Registry
Intellectual Property Office Building
Industrial Estate, G.S.T Road
Guindy, Chennai – 600 032
Ph: 044 – 22502091-93 & 98
Fx : 044 – 22502090
Website :

The applicant must have an address for service in

India. Generally, application can be filed by (1) a
legal practitioner (2) a registered agent.
STEP 2 and 3: Preliminary scrutiny and

The Examiner will scrutinize the application for any

The applicant should within one month of the
communication in this regard, remedy the same.
The content of statement of case is assessed by a
consultative group of experts will versed on the
The will ascertain the correctness of particulars
Thereafter an Examination Report would be
STEP 4: Show cause notice

If the Registrar has any objection to the

application, he will communicate such objection.
The applicant must respond within two months or
apply for a hearing.
The decision will be duly communicated. If the
applicant wishes to appeal, he may within one
month make a request.
The Registrar is also empowered to withdraw an
application, if it is accepted in error, after giving on
opportunity of being heard.
STEP 5: Publication in the geographical
indications Journal

Every application, within three moths of

acceptance shall be published in the
Geographical Indications Journal.
STEP 6: Opposition to Registration
Any person can file a notice of opposition within three
months (extendable by another month on request
which has to be filed before three months) opposing
the GI application published in the Journal.
The registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the
Within two months the applicant shall sent a copy of the
If he does not do this be shall be deemed to have
abandoned his application. Where the counter-statement
has been filed, the registrar shall serve a copy on the
person giving the notice of opposition.
Thereafter, both sides will lead their respective evidences
by way of affidavit and supporting documents.
A date for hearing of the case will be fixed thereafter.
STEP 7: Registration

Where an application for a GI has been accepted,

the registrar shall register the geographical

If registered, the date of filing of the application

shall be deemed to be the date of registration.

The registrar shall issue to the applicant a

certificate with the seal of the Geographical
indications registry.
STEPS: 8-10

STEP 8: Renewal
A registered GI shall be valid for 10 years and can be
renewed on payment of renewal fee.

STEP 9: Additional protection to notified goods

Additional protection for notified goods is provided in the Act.

STEP 10: Appeal

Any person aggrieved by an order or decision may prefer an
appeal to the intellectual property appellate board (IPAB)
within three months.

The address of the IPAB is as follows:

Intellectual Property Appellate Board
Annexe 1, 2 nd Floor, Guna Complex,
443, Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 018
What Indications are not registerable ?
For registrability, the indications must fall within the scope of section
2(1)e of GI Act, 1999. Being so, it has to also satisfy the provisions
of section 9, which prohibits registration of a Geographical
the use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion; or
the use of which would be contrary to any law for the time being in
force; or
which comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter; or
which comprises or contains any matter likely to hurt the time being
in force; religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the
citizens of India; or
which would otherwise be disentitled to protection in a court; or
which are determined to be generic names or indications of goods
and are, therefore, not or ceased to be protected in their country of
origin or which have fallen into disuse in that country; or
which although literally true as to the territory region or locality in
which the goods originate, but falsely represent to the persons that
the goods originate in another territory, region or locality as the
case may be.
Form and signing of application

Every application for the registration of a

geographical indication shall be made in the
prescribed form (GI-1A to ID) accompanied by the
prescribed fee (Rs.5, 000).
It shall be signed by the applicant or his agent.
It must be made in triplicate along with three copies
of a Statement of Case accompanied by five
additional representations.

Fees may be paid in cash or sent by money order

or by a bank draft or by a cheque.
Bank Drafts or cheques shall be crossed and be
made payable to the Registrar at the appropriate
office of the Geographical Indication Registry.
It should be drawn by a scheduled bank at the
place where the appropriate office of the
Geographical Indications Registry is situated.
Where a document is field without fee or with
insufficient fee such document shall be deemed to
have not been filed.

All applications shall be typewritten, lithographed

or printed in Hindi or in English.

It should in large and legible characters with deep

permanent ink upon strong paper, on one side

The size should be a approximately 33 cms by 20

cms and shall have on the left and part thereof a
margin of not less than 4 centimeters.
Signing of documents

In case of
i. An association of persons or producers shall
be signed by the authorized signatory.
ii. A body corporate or any organization or any
authority established by or under any law for the time being
in force shall be signed by the Chief Executive, or the
Managing Director or the secretary or other principal officer.
iii. In case of partnership it shall be signed by at
least one of the partners.

The capacity in which an individual signs a document shall

be stated below his signature.

Signatures shall be accompanied by the name of the

signatory in English or in Hindi and in capital letters.
Principal place of business in India

Every application for registration of a G.I shall

state the principal place of business in India.
A body corporate should state the full name and
nationality of the Board of Directors.
Foreign applicants and persons having principal
place of business, in their home country should
furnish an address for service in India.
In the case of a body corporate or any
organization or authority established by or under
any law for the time being in force, the country of
incorporation or the nature of registration, if any,
as the case may be shall be given.
Convention Application should contain
the following

A certificate by the Registry or competent authority

of the Geographical Indications Office of the
convention country.
The particulars of the geographical indication, the
country and the date or dates of filing of the first
The application must be the applicants’ first
application in a convention country for the same
geographical indications and for all or some of the
The application must include a statement
indicating the filing date of the foreign application,
the convention country where it was filed, the
serial number, if available.
Statement of user in applications

An application to register a geographical

indication shall contain a statement of user
along with an affidavit.
Content of Application

Every application shall be made in the prescribed

forms and shall contain the following :
A statement as to how the geographical indication
serves to designate the goods as originating form the
concerned territory in respect of specific quality,
reputation or other characteristics.
The three certified copies of class of goods to which
the geographical indication relates
The geographical map of the territory.
The particulars of the appearance of the geographical
indication words or figurative elements or both;
A statement containing such particulars of the
producers of the concerned goods proposed to be
initially resisted. Including a collective reference to all
the producers of the goods in respect of which the
application is made.
Content of Application…..
The statement contained in the application shall also include the following:
An affidavit as to how the applicant claim to represent the interest of the
association of persons or producers or any organization or authority
established under any law.
The standards benchmark for the use of the geographical indication or the
industry standard as regards the production, exploitation, making or
manufacture of the goods having specific quality, reputation or other
characteristic of such goods that is essentially attributable to its
geographical origin with the detailed description of the human creativity
involved, if any or other characteristic;
The particulars of the mechanism to ensure that the standards, quality,
integrity and consistency or other special characteristic are maintained by
the producers, or manufacturers of the goods.
Three certified copies of the map of the territory, region or locality;
The particulars of special human skill involved or the uniqueness of the
geographical environment or other inherent characteristics associated with
the geographical indication.
The full name and address of the association of persons or organization or
authority representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods;
Particulars of the inspection structure;
In case of a homonymous indication, the material factors differentiating the
application from the registered geographical indications and particulars of
protective measures adopted.
Acknowledgement of receipt of

Every application of the registration of a

geographical indication in respect of any goods
shall, on receipt be acknowledged by the

The acknowledgement shall be by way of return of

one of the additional representations with the
official number of the application duly entered

(List to be circulated to the students)

FROM APRIL 2004 – MARCH 2005
Darjeeling Tea (word & logo)Aranmula KannadiPochampalli Ikat

FROM APRIL 2005 – MARCH 2006

Salem FabricChanderi FabricSolapur ChaddarSolapur Terry TowelKotpad Handloom
fabricMysore SilkKota DoriaMysore AgarbathiKancheepuram SilkBhavani JamakkalamKullu
ShawlBidriwareMadurai SungudiOrissa IkatChannapatna Toys & DollsMysore Rosewood
InlayKangra TeaCoimbatore Wet GrinderSrikalahasthi KalamkariMysore Sandalwood
OilMysore Sandal soapKasuti EmbroideryMysore Traditional PaintingsCoorg Orange

FROM APRIL 2006 – MARCH 2007Mysore Betel leafNanjanagud BananaMadhubani


FROM APRIL 2007 – MARCH 2008

Kondapalli Bommallu,Thanjavur Paintings, Silver Filigree of Karimnagar,Alleppey
Coir,Muga Silk,Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil , Mysore JasmineUdupi JasmineHadagali
JasmineNavara RicePalakkadan Matta RiceThanjavur Art PlateIlkal SareesApplique –
Khatwa Patch Work of BiharSujini Embroidery Work of BiharSikki Grass Work of
BiharMalabar PepperAllahabad SurkhaNakshi KanthaGanjifa cards of Mysore
(Karnataka)Navalgund DurriesKarnataka Bronze WareMolakalmuru SareesMonsooned
Malabar Arabica CoffeeMonsooned Malabar Robusta CoffeeSpices – Alleppey Green
CardamomCoorg Green CardamomEast India LeatherSalem SilkKovai Cora Cotton, Arani


Bastar DhokraBastar Wooden CraftNirmal Toys and CraftMaddalam of PalakkadScrew
Pine Craft of KeralaSwamimalai Bronze IconsBastar Iron CraftKonark Stone carvingOrissa
PattachitraMachilipatnam KalamkariEathomozhy Tall CoconutBrass Broidered Coconut
Shell Crafts of KeralaBlue Pottery of JaipurMolela Clay WorkKathputlis of RajasthanLeather
Toys of IndoreBagh Prints of Madhya PradeshSankheda FurnitureAgates of CambayBell
Metal Ware of Datia and TikamgarhKutch EmbroideryKani ShawlChamba RumalDharwad
PedhaPokkali RicePipli Applique WorkBudiiti Bell & Brass CraftThanjavur DollSantiniketan
Leather GoodsNirmal FurnitureNirmal PaintingsAndhra Pradesh Leather PuppetryLaxman
Bhog MangoKhirsapati (Himsagar) MangoFazli Mango grown in the district of Malda
The Definition of Traditional knowledge

The definition of TK in the WIPO Report is given as the following:

“WIPO currently uses the term “traditional knowledge” to refer to
tradition‑based literary, artistic or scientific works; performances;
inventions; scientific discoveries; designs; marks, names and
symbols; undisclosed information; and all other tradition‑based
innovations and creations resulting from intellectual activity in the
industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields. “Tradition‑based” refers
to knowledge systems, creations, innovations and cultural
expressions which: have generally been transmitted from generation
to generation; are generally regarded as pertaining to a particular
people or its territory; and, are constantly evolving in response to a
changing environment. Categories of traditional knowledge could
include: agricultural knowledge; scientific knowledge; technical
knowledge; ecological knowledge; medicinal knowledge, including
related medicines and remedies; biodiversity‑related knowledge;
“expressions of folklore” in the form of music, dance, song,
handicrafts, designs, stories and artwork; elements of languages,
such as names, geographical indications and symbols; and, movable
cultural properties.”
Three general forms of TK‑related IP
Protection extended to the content, substance or idea of knowledge
and culture (such as traditional know-how about the medicinal use of
a plant, or traditional ecological management practices) –
corresponding roughly to the subject matter of patents, utility models
and know-how or trade secrets;

Protection extended to the form, expression or representation of

traditional cultures (such as a traditional song, performance, oral
narrative or graphic design) – corresponding roughly to the subject
matter of copyright and performer’s rights and rights in industrial and
textile designs; and

Protection extended to the reputation and distinctive character of

signs, symbols, indications, patterns and styles associated with
traditional cultures, including the suppression of misleading, deceptive
and offensive use of this subject matter – corresponding roughly to
the subject matter of trademarks and geographical indications, as well
as specific protection for material such as the names of IGOs,
hallmarks and national symbols.
Key qualities of Traditional Knowledge

The Key qualities of Traditional Knowledge that

distinguish it from the general forms of knowledge:

the context of creation

association with the community
link to the community through a sense of
ownership or responsibility
the requirement that it be knowledge
community to identify traditional knowledge
Few Case studies

Darjeeling Tea
Basmati Rice
Pochampalli Ikat
Leather Toys of Indore
Kutch Embroidery
Kancheepuram Silks
Madhubani Paintings
Bastar Dhokra
Thank You