Ligamine, Solicitors And Consultants


The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide better protection to the goods which have become distinctive in terms of quality or uniqueness by virtue of it being available only from a particular geographical area.

Over the recent past, Geographical Indications (GI) have emerged as a significant  form  of  Intellectual  Property  Rights  (IPR)  issue  in  the  Indian  context.  GI  helps  a community  of  producers  to  differentiate  their  products  from  competing  products  in  the market and build goodwill around their products, often fetching a premium price.  From consumer’s  point  of  view,  GIs  act  as  a  signalling  device,  which  helps  them  identify genuine  quality-products  and  also  protect  them  against  counterfeits.    In  view  of  their commercial  potential,  adequate  legal  protection  of GIs  becomes  necessary  to  prevent  their misappropriation.   Although India has had in its possession a considerable number of  products  that  could  qualify  for  legal  protection as  geographical  designators,  the initiatives  to  exploit  this  potential  begun  only  recently  when  the  country  established  as sui generis system of GI protection with the enactment of ‘the Geographical Indications of  Goods  (Registration  and  Protection)  Act,  1999,  coupled  with  the  ‘Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002. The Act, which became operational with effect from 15 September 2003, was drafted as part of the exercise in the country to set in place national IPR laws as much in compliance with India’s obligations under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of  the  World  Trade  Organisation  (WTO)  so  as  to  take  avantage  of  the  ‘minimum’ standards of GI protection that the TRIPs sets out for the WTO members to comply with in their respective national legislations. 

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