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What is the difference between a geographical indication and an indication of source?

What is the difference between a geographical indication and an indication of source?

An indication of source can be defined as an indication referring to a country (or to a place in that country) as being the country or place of origin of a product.

In contrast to a geographical indication, an indication of source does not imply the presence of any special quality, reputation, or characteristic of the product essentially attributable to its place of origin. Indications of source only require that the product on which the indication of source is used originate in a certain geographical area.

Examples of indications of source are the mention, on a product, of the name of a country, or indications such as “made in ….”, “product of ….”, etc.

A Geographical Indications Registry has been established in Chennai for the purpose of administering the legislation. Appeal against the Registrar’s decision would be to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board established under the Trade Marks legislation.

Significance of Geographical Indication Registration

Such identification enables the product to gain a reputation and goodwill all over the world, consequently resulting in premium prices in national and international markets. Recognition of a particular commodity as a Geographical Indication also confers the right to protection under the Geographical Indication Act, 1999, thereby preventing an unauthorised use of the commodity registered as GI by any third party. Geographical Indication registration encourages community ownership and therefore it helps in proper distribution of the economic benefits accrued from commercialisation of the commodity across a wider section of people in that territory.

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