Process of registration for a Geographical Indication



Geographical Indication (“GI”) is a type of intellectual property that is given to goods or products originating from a particular geographic location and which possess qualities that are intrinsic to that location.[i] A few examples include the Alphonso mangoes from Maharashtra, Kashmir Saffron from Jammu & Kashmir, Parmigiano Reggiano, a type of cheese from Italy, etc. By indicating the origin of the goods, GIs promote the business and culture of the indigenous communities.


Application for GI

Every application for a GI must be made in triplicate on forms, depending upon the type of application –

For more information on who can file the application and where click here. The aforementioned forms shall be accompanied with:

  1. Three copies of the statement of case which includes the specifications, description of the goods, method of production, uniqueness of the product, proof of origin, and the present status of the GI[iii];

  2. Class of the product to which GI is applicable, as listed in the Fourth Schedule[iv];

  3. Three certified copies of the geographical map of the region to which the GI belongs[v];

  4. Description of the GI[vi];

  5. Details of the producers of the concerned goods along with details of the applicants with their addresses[vii].



Examination of Application

On receipt of the application, the Examiner shall examine it for any deficiencies and subsequently constitute a Consultative Group to examine the correctness of the particulars furnished in the Statement of Case. The Statement of Case shall be examined within 3 months of the constitution of the Consultative Group.[viii]


Show Cause Notice

If the Registrar has any objection to the application and proposes any amendments, modifications, or limitations, then he shall communicate such objection. The Applicant has a time of two months to respond/amend the application, failing which the application shall be dismissed.[ix] The Registrar is also empowered to withdraw the application – if it was accepted in error, or if he feels that the GI should not be registered.[x] In the above cases, the Applicant may choose to appeal the decision of the Registrar within one month from the date of receipt of the communication.[xi]


For any amendment to the application, the Applicant shall apply to the Registry in Form GI – 5 provided that such amendment would not substantially alter the original application.[xii]


Advertisement

Within three months of acceptance, the application shall be published in the Geographical Indications Journal.[xiii] The Registrar may also re-advertise the application in cases where an error has been corrected or if the application has been amended. Any person may obtain details of the advertisement of a GI such as the number, date, and page of the Journal by filing Form GI – 7(E).


Opposition

Any person may within three months of advertisement or re-advertisement file an objection to the GI application.[xiv] The period to raise objection can be extended by one month by filing an application in Form GI – 2(C) before the expiry of the initial three-month period.[xv]


Notice of such opposition shall be provided to the Applicant by the Registrar within two months of receipt of the same.[xvi] The Applicant must file a counter-statement in Form GI – 2(B) in triplicate within two months of receiving the notice of opposition failing which the application shall be deemed abandon. The Registrar shall serve a copy of the notice of opposition on the person raising the opposition within two months of its receipt.[xvii]

Thereafter, both sides will present their evidence by way of affidavit and supporting documents after which a date of hearing shall be fixed by the Registrar.[xviii]


Registration

If the Registrar accepts the application, then it shall be registered in the GI Journal and issue copies to the applicants and authorized users. The date of registration is the date of filing the application.[xix] Furthermore, unlike other intellectual properties, GI is considered to be a community intellectual property. Hence, any trader, producer, manufacturer who is registered may apply to the GI registry to become an authorized user under Form GI – 3A.[xx]


Renewal

A GI is only valid for a period of 10 years after which it has to be periodically renewed by the Applicant for a prescribed fee. An application for renewal shall be made in Form GI – 4.

 

References:

[i] Geographical Indications, WIPO, https://www.wipo.int/geo_indications/en/.

[ii] Section 11(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

[iii] Rule 32(1)(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[iv] Rule 32(1)(2), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[v] Rule 32(1)(3), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[vi] Rule 32(1)(4), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[vii] Rule 32(1)(5), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[viii] Rule 33, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[ix] Rule 34, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[x] Section 12, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

[xi] Rule 35, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xii] Rule 36, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xiii] Section 13, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Rule 38, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xiv] Section 14(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

[xv] Rule 41(5), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xvi] Rule 41(6), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xvii] Rule 43(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xviii] Rule 50(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002.

[xix] Section 16(1), The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

[xx] Section17, The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

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