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?
- An application seeking Geographical Indication tag for the Arunachal Pradesh Apatani textile product has been filed by a firm, Zeet Zeero Producer Company Ltd.
- The Apatani weave comes from the Apatani tribe living at Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. The woven fabric of this tribe is known for its geometric and zigzag patterns and for its angular designs.
- The Apatani community weaves its own textiles for various occasions, including rituals and cultural festivals. The tribe predominantly weaves shawls known as jig-jiro, and jilan or jackets called supuntarii.
- The people use leaves and plant resources for organic dyeing of the cotton yarns in their traditional ways. And only women folk are engaged in weaving.