Products with geographical indications (GIs) have qualities or reputations that are due to their geographical origin. In order for a sign to function as a GI, it must identify the origin of the product.

Dishonest commercial operators can misuse geographical indications to the detriment of both consumers and legitimate users if they are not adequately protected.

Under the TRIPs agreement, other countries are not obligated to extend reciprocal protection if a geographical indication is not protected in its country of origin. Thus, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 was enacted in India.

The registration process is as follows:

The application for registration of Geographical indication may be made by any association or persons or producers or any oraganisations or authority established by or under any law representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods to the Registrar of Geographical Indications in the form prescribed under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (the GI Act) read with the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 (the GI Rules).

Geographical indications are initially valid for ten years but may be renewed periodically in accordance with the Act.

The benefits of registering include:

When a geographical indication is registered in India, the right holder can initiate civil or criminal action to prevent others from using the geographical indication without permission.

The owner’s successor in title is entitled to use the registered geographical indication. Registered geographical indications cannot be transferred by assignment or license.

January 2023
Delhi High Court sets aside registration of ‘Swiss Military’ trademark by private company
The Delhi High Court has set aside the registration of ‘Swiss Military’ and the logo by a private company called Promoshirts SM. The HC has held that a red cross with white background and the words ‘Swiss Military’ serve as a source identifier for the goods of Swiss Origin for the public.
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January 2023
Return of iconic Yezdi motorcycle hits legal hurdle, Karnataka HC cancels trademark acquisition by heir of original maker
The return of ‘Yezdi’, an iconic Indian motorcycle from the 1970s, has suffered a legal setback with the Karnataka High Court ruling as illegal the acquisition of the ‘Yezdi’ trademark by a member of the family of the original owners — Ideal Jawa (India) Pvt Ltd — which went into liquidation two decades ago.
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December 2022
India to seek IPR waiver for green energy tech at G20
India is planning to push for a waiver of intellectual property rights (IPR) for technologies related to green energy and energy transition in a bid to bridge the technology gap across G20 countries, two officials aware of the matter said. India took over presidency of the grouping earlier this month.
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