GI registration in Bihar- Geographical Indication (GI) registration is a legal provision that protects the products that have a unique geographical origin, quality, reputation or other characteristics that are attributed to the place of origin. GI registration is essential to safeguard and promote the unique identity of such products and prevent their misuse.
Meaning and Definition: A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation, or other characteristics that are essentially attributable to that origin. The GI tag helps to promote and protect the unique identity and reputation of the products of that region.
Legal Provisions: In India, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, provides for the registration and protection of Geographical Indications. The Act aims to promote the economic prosperity of producers of goods and enhance the competitiveness of such goods in the global market.
Process: The process of Geographical Indication registration involves the following steps:
Filing an application: The first step in GI registration is to file an application with the Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, which is the nodal agency responsible for the registration of GIs in India.
Examination of the application: After filing the application, the Registrar examines it for completeness and accuracy.
Publication of the application: Once the application is found to be complete, the Registrar publishes it in the Geographical Indications Journal.
Opposition period: After publication of the application, there is a period of 3 months for any interested party to file an opposition against the registration of the GI.
Examination of opposition: The Registrar examines the opposition, and if he finds it valid, he may refuse the registration of the GI.
Registration: If there is no opposition, or the opposition is found to be invalid, the Registrar registers the GI and issues a certificate of registration.
Protection of unique identity: GI registration ensures protection to the products that have unique qualities, characteristics, and reputation that are attributed to a particular geographical origin.
Legal protection: GI registration gives legal protection to the products against any unauthorized use, imitation, or misuse by other producers or traders.
Economic benefits: GI registration can help in promoting the economic prosperity of producers of the GI products by enhancing their competitiveness in the global market.
Time-consuming: The process of GI registration can be time-consuming, and it may take several months to get the GI registration certificate.
Costly: The cost involved in the registration of a GI can be high, which may be a deterrent for small producers.
Types: There are two types of Geographical Indications:
Natural GI: A natural GI is a geographical indication that is based on natural factors such as climate, soil, or other natural conditions.
Cultural GI: A cultural GI is a geographical indication that is based on the cultural heritage, tradition, or other cultural factors of a particular region.
Cost involved: The cost involved in GI registration includes the application fee, examination fee, and renewal fee. The application fee is Rs. 5000 for individuals and Rs. 25,000 for companies. The examination fee is Rs. 10,000 for individuals and Rs. 50,000 for companies.
Time involved: The time involved in the registration of a GI can vary, depending on the complexity of the application and the number of objections filed. Generally, it takes around 1-2 years to get the GI registration certificate.
Documents required: The following documents are required for GI registration:
- Application form
- Details of the product for which GI registration is sought
- Proof of origin
- Authorization letter (if the application is
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.
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.
Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign or symbol used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation, or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. The registration of a Geographical Indication provides legal protection to the geographical origin of the product and safeguards the interests of producers and consumers against misuse of the name or false claims.
In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The process of GI registration involves the following steps:
Filing of Application: The first step in the process of GI registration is to file an application with the Geographical Indications Registry. The application should include details such as the name of the product, its geographical origin, the specific characteristics that are attributed to the product due to its origin, and the class of goods to which it belongs.
Examination of Application: Once the application is filed, the Registry examines the application to ensure that it complies with the provisions of the Act. If any defects or discrepancies are found, the Registry issues an examination report, and the applicant is given an opportunity to rectify the same.
Publication in the Journal: If the application is found to be in order, it is published in the Geographical Indications Journal. This publication is done to invite objections, if any, from the public.
Opposition Proceedings: If any person or entity has any objection to the registration of the GI, they can file an opposition to the application within a stipulated period. The opposition proceedings are conducted, and a decision is taken by the Registry based on the merits of the case.
Registration and Renewal: If no opposition is filed, or the opposition proceedings are resolved in favor of the applicant, the GI is registered and published in the Journal. The registration of a GI is valid for ten years, after which it needs to be renewed.
The advantages of obtaining GI registration are manifold. It protects the reputation of the product and the interests of the producers, prevents unfair competition and misuse of the name or false claims, and enhances the commercial value of the product. It also promotes the conservation of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage associated with the product.
However, obtaining GI registration involves significant costs and time. The cost involved includes filing fees, examination fees, and renewal fees, among others. The time taken for obtaining registration varies from case to case and can take up to two years or more.
The documents required for GI registration include the application form, proof of origin, a description of the product, and any other supporting documents that may be necessary. It is advisable to engage the services of a qualified attorney or agent for the process of GI registration to ensure that the application is complete, and the registration is obtained smoothly.