The Geographical Indication of Goods(Registration and Protecton)Act,1999
provides that Geographical Indications(GIs)
means an indication which identifies goods such as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating in the territory of a country where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. There are two types of GIs:- (i) the first types are geographical names that indicate the name of place of origin of product, viz. CHAMPAGNE, DARJEELING tea, etc. (ii) the second are non-geographical traditional names which implies that a product is traditionally associated with a particular region.viz. Alphonso, Basmati etc.
The Geographical Indication of Goods(Registration and Protecton)Act,1999 is the governing Act for GIs in India. Under the Act, the Controller-General of Patents,Designs and Trade Marks under Department of Industrial Policy and promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry is the 'Registrar of GIs'. The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks directs and supervises the functioning of the Geographical Indications Registry (GIR).
Any procedure, association of persons, organisation or authority established by law, desirous of registering a GI in relation to any particular good has to apply in writing to the Registrar of GIs. The application has to be filed in the office of the Geographical Indications Registry within whose territorial limits, the territory, region or locality to which the GI relates is situated. However, registration is not compulsory but it helps to avail better legal protection to facilitate an action for infringement. The registration of a GI shall give exclusive and automatic right to the registered proprietor to use GI in relation to the goods for which it is registered and also gives right to obtain relief in respect of infringement of GIs. The registration of a GI shall be for a period of ten years but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Some of the GIs are not registrable under the Act :-