Acts and Rules
- The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration And Protection) Act, 1999
- The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration And Protection) Rules, 2002
The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has been enacted to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods. According to the Act, the term ‘geographical indication’ (in relation to goods) means “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 characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in 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”.
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 Geographical indications’. The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks directs and supervises the functioning of the Geographical Indications Registry (GIR).
The main provisions of the Act are:-
- The ‘Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks’ appointed under the Trade Marks Act, 1999, shall be the Registrar of Geographical Indications. Also, there shall be a ‘Geographical Indications Registry’ for the purpose of facilitating the registrations of geographical indications, at such place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.
- For the purposes of this Act, a record called the Register of Geographical Indications shall be kept at the Head office of the Geographical Indications Registry, wherein shall be entered all registered geographical indications with the names, addresses and descriptions of the proprietors, the names, addresses and descriptions of authorised users and such other matters relating to registered geographical indications as may be prescribed.
- A Geographical Indication may be registered in respect of any or all of the goods, comprised in such class of goods as may be classified by the Registrar and in respect of a definite territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, as the case may be. The Registrar shall classify the goods, as far as may be, in accordance with the International classification of goods for the purposes of registration of geographical indication.
- Prohibition of registration of those geographical indications:-
- The use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion; or
- The use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion; or
- The use of which would be contrary to any law for the time being in force; or
- Which comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter; or
- Which comprise or contains any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or
- section of the citizens of India; or
- Which would otherwise be disentitled to protection in a court; or
- Which are determined to be generic names or indications of goods and are, therefore, not or
- ceased to be protected in their country of origin, or which have fallen into disuse in that country; or
- Which although literally true as to the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate,
- but falsely represent to the persons that the goods originate in another territory, region or locality, as the case may be.
- Any association of persons or producers or any organization or authority established by or under any law for the time being in force representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods, who are desirous of registering a geographical indication in relation to such goods, shall apply in writing to the Registrar in such form and in such manner and accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed for the registration of the geographical indication. A single application may be made for registration of a geographical indication for different classes of goods and fee payable thereof shall be in respect of each such class of goods.
- The application shall contain:-
- Statement as to how the geographical indication serves to designate the goods as originating from the concerned territory of the country or region or locality in the country, as the case may be, in respect of specific quality, reputation or other characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical, environment, with its inherent natural and human factors, and the production, processing or preparation of which takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be;
- The class of goods to which the geographical indication shall apply;
- The geographical map of the territory of the country or region or locality in the country in which the goods originate or are being manufactured;
- The particulars regarding the appearance of the geographical indication as to whether it is comprised of the words or figurative elements or both;
- A statement containing such particulars of the producers of the concerned goods, if any, proposed to be initially registered with the registration; and
- Such other particulars as may be prescribed.
- Any person may, within three months from the date of advertisement or re advertisement of an application for registration or within such further period, not exceeding one month, in the aggregate, give notice in writing in the prescribed manner to the Registrar, of opposition to the registration. The Registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant for registration and, within two months from the receipt by the applicant of such copy of the notice of opposition, the applicant shall send to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a counter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application, and if he does not do so, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.
- The registration of a geographical indication shall be for a period of ten years, but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The registration of an authorised user shall be for a period of ten years or for the period till the date on which the registration of the geographical indication in respect of which the authorised user is registered expires, whichever is earlier.
- A registered geographical indication is infringed by a person who, not being an authorised user thereof:-
- Uses such geographical indication by any means in the designations or presentation of goods that indicates or suggests that such goods originate in a geographical area other than the true place of origin of such goods in a manner which misleads the persons as to the geographical origin of such goods; or
- Uses any geographical indication in such manner which constitutes an act of unfair competition including passing off in respect of registered geographical indication;
- Uses another geographical indication to the goods which, although literally true as to the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate, falsely represents to the persons that the goods originate in the territory, region or locality in respect of which such registered geographical indication relates.
- Any person who:-
- falsifies any geographical indication; or
- falsely applies to goods any geographical indication; or
- makes, disposes of, or has in his possession, any die, block, machine, plate or other instrument for the purpose of falsifying or of being used for falsifying, a geographical indication; or
- tampers with, alters or effaces an indication of origin which has been applied to any goods to which it is required to be applied under the Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment and with fine.