The Geographical Indication (GI) is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to
specific geographical location or origin. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having special quality and established reputation.
Criteria for GI Tagging
For a product to get GI tag, it has to have a unique quality, reputation or characteristic which is attributable to its geographic origin.
Purpose of GI Tagging
The GI tag was primarily developed with the purpose of recognising the unique identity connecting different products and places.
In India, GI tag is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999.
This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also
Registrar of Geographical Indications.
Validity of a GI
The registration of a GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed.
Significance of GI Tagging
Getting a GI tag helps a product to be marketed as exclusively from the geographical region it hails from, be it a food product, a beverage, a fruit, a handicraft, a handloom product or any other regionally exclusive entity.
These goods and products having tag are recognised for their origin, quality and reputation and gives it required edge in the global market. It also ensures that none can use their name, giving them exclusivity.
GI and International Conventions
GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection
of Industrial Property. At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).