About GI Tag
- A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
- It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods. Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India.
- The registration of GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed.
- It should be noted that registration of a product is not compulsory.
- Registration affords better legal protection to facilitate an action for infringement
- The registered proprietor and authorised users can initiate infringement actions
- The authorised users can exercise the exclusive right to use the geographical indication.
- In India, GI is given under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- The Act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs & TradeMarks, GI (CGPDTM-India) under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- India enacted its GI legislation to comply with India’s obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
- GI registration gives to the registered proprietor and its authorized users, the legal right to the exclusive use of the GI and also the right to obtain relief in case of its infringement.
- GI is a collective intellectual property right and is thus owned by all the producers within the defined GI territory unlike intellectual properties like patent and trademark which are owned by an individual or a business entity.
Benefits of registration of Geographical Indications
- It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
- Prevents unauthorised use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
- It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports.
- It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.
Why in News?
- The Central government has awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana. With this move, growers will get the maximum price for their premium produce. Over five lakh farmers of Mithila region of Bihar will be benefitted from this decision.
- Due to Geographical Indication Tag to Mithila Makhana in the festive season, people outside Bihar will be able to use this auspicious material with reverence.
- Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
- The other benefits of GI registration include legal protection to that item, prevention against unauthorised use by others, and promoting exports.