Introduction to Geographical Indication (GI)

GI is an important feature under the regime of Intellectual Property rights (IPR) that supports the weavers by giving them an exclusive right over their creative minds.

GI tag is an indication that authenticates the origin of a product to a particular region of India. The product needs to have a special characteristic related to the geographical climate or unique production technique that makes it distinct and provides it a differentiated identity among rest of them. This registration not only provides lawful security but also curbs illegal use of GI registered. It also helps the producers' prosperity and the exports are ascends. The registration is valid for 10 years after which the producers can again apply for registration. If it is not re-registered after every 10 years, it is removed from the list.

Geographical Indication Act was passed in December 1999 by the Parliament which came into force on 15th September, 2003, for the registration and protection of special goods of different geographical locations in India. GI is a recognized Intellectual Property PR under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) TRIPS agreement. The Controller of Patents and Trademarks is the governing body for Registrar of Geographical Indications which is located in Chennai. Till the end of March 2010, a total of 120 products have been registered under the GI Act, which include agricultural products, handicrafts, manufactured products and textiles. Whilst, Patents belong to individuals, the GI is a collective right of the community protected either by their group or state, helping art and artisans to survive.

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