Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?

Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?
Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?

No. A geographical indication is a public property belonging to the producers of the concerned goods. It shall not be the subject matter of assignment, transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such other agreement However, when an authorised user dies, his right devolves on his successor in title.

Intellectual property rights can be defined as the rights given to people over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creations for a certain period of time. Intellectual property rights are traditionally divided into two main categories:

• Copyright and rights related to copyright: i.e. rights granted to authors of literary and artistic works, and the rights of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations. The main purpose of protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work.

• Industrial property: This includes (1) the protection of distinctive signs such as trademarks and geographical indications, and (2) industrial property protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. In this category inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets are included.

What is an appellation of origin and how is it different from a GI?

What is an appellation of origin and how is it different from a GI?
What is an appellation of origin and how is it different from a GI?

An appellation of origin means the geographical name of a country, region, or locality, which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality and characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors.

All appellations of origin are geographical indications but not all geographical indications are appellations of origin. Appellation of origins are used on those goods which, along with being an indication of source, also signify the quality and the characteristics of the product which is due exclusively to the geographical environment.

For example, Roquefort cheese, which is said to taste the way it does because it is matured in a certain way in the caves of Roquefort is an appellation of origin and a geographical indication.

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

What are the categories of goods that may be protected by geographical indications?

What are the categories of goods that may be protected by geographical indications?
What are the categories of goods that may be protected by geographical indications?

There are 34 different classes on the basis of which the goods are classified.

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

Geographical Indications bear the quality function of the product were as the indications of source indicates the source of products only. For example, made in India, made in France.

Where are the offices of the Registrar of Geographical Indications located in India?

Where are the offices of the Registrar of Geographical Indications located in India?
Where are the offices of the Registrar of Geographical Indications located in India?

The Registry of Geographical Indications in India is based at Chennai.

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

A geographical indication points to a specific place or region of production that determines the characteristic qualities of the product that originates therein. It is important that the product derives its qualities and reputation from that place. Since those qualities depend on the place of production, a specific “link” exists between the products and their original place of production.

Can I register my geographical indication as a trademark too?

Can I register my geographical indication as a trademark too?
Can I register my geographical indication as a trademark too?

No. The trademark law in India bars the registration of any geographical indication as a trademark.

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

Trademark – A symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.

Is there a penalty for falsely representing a geographical indication as registered?

Is there a penalty for falsely representing a geographical indication as registered?
Is there a penalty for falsely representing a geographical indication as registered?

Yes. Falsely representing a geographical indication as registered is an offence under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Any person who commits this offence may be punished by imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, by a fine or by both.

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

What is geographical indications legislation and regulation in india?

What is geographical indications legislation and regulation in india?
What is geographical indications legislation and regulation in india?

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002

International  Treaties to which India is a signatory

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Geographical indications (GIs) means an indication which identifies 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 characteristics 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, place names are sometimes used to identify a product, for example: Champagne, scotch, Tequila and Roquefort Cheese.

What are the Infringement and Enforcement remedies available under the Geographical Indications Act?

What are the Infringement and Enforcement remedies available under the Geographical Indications Act?
What are the Infringement and Enforcement remedies available under the Geographical Indications Act?

A person, not being an authorized user, infringes a registered geographical indication when he uses:

  1. Such geographical indication by any means in the designation 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;
  2. Any geographical indication in such manner that constitutes an act of unfair competition including passing off in respect of registered geographical indication. The acts that constitute ‘unfair competition’ as mentioned above are:

    all acts that are of such nature as to create confusion by any means whatsoever with the establishment, the goods or the industrial and the commercial process;
    false allegations in the course of the trade of such a nature as to discredit the establishment, the goods or the industrial or commercial activities, of the competitor;
    geographical indications, the use of which in the course of the trade is liable to mislead the persons as to the nature, the manufacturing process, the characteristics, the suitability for their purpose or the quantity of the goods; or

  3. Another geographical indication for goods which, although true to the territory from which the goods originate, falsely represents that the goods originate in the territory in respect of which such registered indication relates.

In order to protect its geographical indication against unauthorized use, the rights holder may send a cease and desist notice after becoming aware of any violation. Thereafter, depending on the response of the infringer, the rights holder has the option of either initiating a civil or criminal litigation against the infringer.

What is the registration procedure for GI?

What is the registration procedure for GI?
What is the registration procedure for GI?

The Register of Geographical Indications is divided into two parts, part A and Part B. Part ‘A’ consists of particulars relating to registered geographical indications and Part ‘B’ consists of particulars of the registered authorized users. The various steps that the rights holder should follow for the registration of their geographical indications in India are as follows –

  • Hire an IPR law firm – It is advisable to hire a local IPR law firm, so as to get proper guidance regarding the laws and the procedures that are followed in India.
  • Conduct a clearance search – It is advisable to conduct a clearance search to ascertain if the geographical indication is available for registration in India. Should the geographical indication be available it would be advisable to register the same at the earliest.
  • Preparing of documents and filing of application – The rights holder can file a single application for registration of a geographical indication in different classes of goods as per the prescribed format. The application can be filed in the Office of Geographical Indications, Chennai. The application to be filed should contain a 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, 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. It should also include 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 words or figurative elements or both) and any statement containing particulars of the producers of the concerned goods.
  • Examination and Publication of the Application – After the application has been filed, the examiner reviews the application and the accompanying statement of case. For purposes of examination, the Registrar of Geographical Indications ordinarily constitutes a Consultative Group of not more than seven representatives to ascertain the correction of the particulars as mentioned in the Statement of Case. Thereafter, the Registrar issues an examination report. Depending on the merits of the application and of any evidence of use, the Registrar may accept or reject the application either absolutely or subject to certain modifications. The Applicant is required to respond to the rejection or objections within two months of the receipt of the examination report failing which the application will be dismissed. After the acceptance of the application by the Registrar, either absolutely or subject to certain conditions and with or without a hearing being conducted, the application will be published.
  • Opposition and Registration – Any person may, within three months of the publication of the application to register a geographical indication, file an opposition. After serving the opposition documents on the Applicant and after examining the evidence and hearing the parties, the Registrar of Geographical Indications may decide whether and subject to what limitations or conditions the registration is to be permitted.
  • The Registrar of Geographical Indications may register the geographical indication after the application has been accepted and not opposed or if opposed the opposition has been decided in favor of the Applicant. Thereafter the Registrar will issue the Registration Certificate in the prescribed format and sealed with the seal of the Geographical Indications Registry to each of the Applicant and the authorized users.
  • Term of Registration – The registration of a geographical indication is for a 10-year period, and is renewable, indefinitely.

 

Who can apply for the registration of the geographical indication?

Who can apply for the registration of the geographical indication?
Who can apply for the registration of the geographical indication?

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 can apply for the registration of the geographical indication in the prescribed format.

What cannot be registered as a geographical indication

The following are the geographical indications that cannot be registered in India:

  • The use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion;
  • The use of which would be contrary to any law for the time being in force;
  • Which comprise or contain scandalous or obscene matter;
  • Which comprise or contain any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of India;
  • Which would otherwise be disentitled to protection in a court;
  • 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.