Geographical indication

Geographical Indication or GI Tags is an intellectual property right given over a product that originates from a specific geographical location and holds qualities that are intrinsic or reputable due to that location.

Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (the “Act”):

Meaning of GI under the Indian Law:

Under the Indian law, GIs have been defined as “an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in the case where such goods are manufactured goods one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be.”

Step by Step Process to Register Geographical Indication:

Step 1: Before filing the Application for GI Tag, one must ensure that their product falls under the ambit of the Act under section 2(e). Once that is confirmed, the Application for GI Tag can be filed under section 11 of the Act. Three copies of the Application need to be made containing:

  • statement of the case for GI Tag
  • class of good to which GI is applicable
  • three certified copies of the geographical map of the region to which the GI belongs
  • description of the GI
  • details of the applicants with their addresses

Step 2:  Scrutiny of the Application will be done by the Registrar to find out any insufficiency, which would have to be corrected within one month of having received the communication for the same. Thereafter, the statement of the case will be reviewed by the experts and consequently, an Examination Report will be issued.

Step 3:  If there is any objection concerning the Application by the Registrar, it will be communicated, and the Application would have to reply or apply for a hearing for the same within two months of receiving such communication. The Applicant would then have two months to file for an appeal for such a decision if he/she so wishes.

Step 4: Within 3 months of acceptance of the Application, it has to be published in the Geographical Indications Journal.

Step 5:  A notice of opposition can be filed by anyone opposing the GI Application within three months. A copy of the Notice will be sent to the Applicant and the Applicant is required to send a counter-statement within 2 months. Thereafter, evidence will be presented by both parties along with supporting documents, and the date for hearing the matter will be fixed.

If no counter statement is sent by the Applicant, it will be deemed that the Applicant has abandoned his/her application.

Step 6:  Once the hearing is over and the Application is accepted, the GI will be registered by the Registrar. Thereafter, the certificate of registration will be issued to the Applicant with the seal of the GI Registry. The date of filing of the Application shall be considered the date of registration.

Step 7: GI is appliable for a period of 10 years and is required to be renewed by payment of a renewable fee.

Filing Requirements

The application for Registration of GI is filed at the Office of the GI Registry located in Chennai. The application must conform to the various requirements and criteria prescribed under the GI Rules. All the goods have been classified in different classes in accordance with the International Classification of goods for the purposes of registration of Geographical Indications.


Qus:-Who can apply for the registration of a geographical indication?

Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can apply.

The applicant must represent the interest of the producers

The application should be in writing in the prescribed form

The application should be addressed to the Registrar of Geographical Indications along with prescribed fee.

Qus:-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.

Qus:-Who is an authorised user?

A producer of goods can apply for registration as an authorised user

It must be in respect of a registered geographical indication

He should apply in writing in the prescribed form alongwith prescribed fee

Qus:-Who can initiate an infringement action?

The registered proprietor or authorised users of a registered geographical indication can initiate an infringement action.

Qus:-Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?

No. A geographical indication is a public property belonging to the producers of the concerned goods. It shall not be the subject matter of assignment, transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such other agreement However, when an authorised user dies, his right devolves on his successor in title.

Qus:-Can a registered geographical indication or a registered authorised user be removed from the register?

Yes. The Appellate Board or the Registrar of Geographical Indications has the power to remove the geographical indication or an authorised user from the register. Further, on application by an aggrieved person action can be taken.

You cannot copy content of this page