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.

How is a patent granted?

How is a patent granted?
How is a patent granted?

A patent is granted by a national patent office or by a regional office that does the work for a number of countries, such as the European Patent Office and the African Regional Industrial Property Organization.

Under such regional systems, an applicant requests protection for the invention in one or more countries, and each country decides as to whether to offer patent protection within its borders.

The WIPO-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides for the filing of a single international patent application which has the same effect as national applications filed in the designated countries.

A patent in an exclusive right granted by a country to the owner of an invention to make, use, manufacture and market the invention, provided the invention satisfies certain conditions stipulated in the law. Exclusivity of right implies that no one else can make, use, manufacture or market the invention without the consent of the patent holder. This right is available only for a limited period of time. However, the use or exploitation of a patent may be affected by other laws of the country which has awarded the patent.

These laws may relate to health, safety, food, security etc. Further, existing patents in similar area may also come in the way. A patent in the law is a property right and hence, can be gifted, inherited, assigned, sold or licensed. As the right is conferred by the State, it can be revoked by the State under very special circumstances even if the patent has been sold or licensed or manufactured or marketed in the meantime. The patent right is territorial in nature and inventors/their assignees will have to file separate patent applications in countries of their interest, along with necessary fees, for obtaining patents in those countries.

Is there any special or unique provision on Patents in the Indian law?

Is there any special or unique provision on Patents in the Indian law?
Is there any special or unique provision on Patents in the Indian law?

The Patent Act has a set of exceptions stated in Section 3 by which certain things cannot be protected by the law. One very unique provision is embodied in Section 3, clause (d).

This provision prevents patenting of minor improvements in chemical and pharmaceutical entities unless the invention results in the enhancement of known efficacy of that substance.

This prevents patenting of mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus.

This provision is a safeguard for public health purposes and sets a higher threshold which has been interpreted as therapeutic efficacy for the grant of a patent on pharmaceuticals.

A patent in an exclusive right granted by a country to the owner of an invention to make, use, manufacture and market the invention, provided the invention satisfies certain conditions stipulated in the law. Exclusivity of right implies that no one else can make, use, manufacture or market the invention without the consent of the patent holder. This right is available only for a limited period of time. However, the use or exploitation of a patent may be affected by other laws of the country which has awarded the patent.

These laws may relate to health, safety, food, security etc. Further, existing patents in similar area may also come in the way. A patent in the law is a property right and hence, can be gifted, inherited, assigned, sold or licensed. As the right is conferred by the State, it can be revoked by the State under very special circumstances even if the patent has been sold or licensed or manufactured or marketed in the meantime. The patent right is territorial in nature and inventors/their assignees will have to file separate patent applications in countries of their interest, along with necessary fees, for obtaining patents in those countries.

What are the criteria for grant of a patent?

What are the criteria for grant of a patent?
What are the criteria for grant of a patent?

Patents provide property rights to inventions. An ‘invention’ may be defined as a novel idea which permits in practice the solution of a specific problem in a field of technology. Patents are available for any invention, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application.

Thus, the TRIPS Agreement stipulates that countries shall grant patents for inventions in all fields of technology and for both:

  1. Products.
  2. Processes, including those used in manufacturing products.

A patent in an exclusive right granted by a country to the owner of an invention to make, use, manufacture and market the invention, provided the invention satisfies certain conditions stipulated in the law. Exclusivity of right implies that no one else can make, use, manufacture or market the invention without the consent of the patent holder. This right is available only for a limited period of time. However, the use or exploitation of a patent may be affected by other laws of the country which has awarded the patent.

These laws may relate to health, safety, food, security etc. Further, existing patents in similar area may also come in the way. A patent in the law is a property right and hence, can be gifted, inherited, assigned, sold or licensed. As the right is conferred by the State, it can be revoked by the State under very special circumstances even if the patent has been sold or licensed or manufactured or marketed in the meantime. The patent right is territorial in nature and inventors/their assignees will have to file separate patent applications in countries of their interest, along with necessary fees, for obtaining patents in those countries.

Can an application for registration of plant varieties be made through an agent?

Can an application for registration of plant varieties be made through an agent?
Can an application for registration of plant varieties be made through an agent?

Yes, a breeder or a farmer can apply for registration either in person or through his agent.

Variety means a plant grouping except micro-organism within a single botanical taxon of the lowest known rank, which can be-

(i) defined by the expression of the characteristics resulting from a given genotype of that plant grouping.

(ii) distinguished from any other plant grouping by expression of at least one of the said characteristics; and

(iii) considered as unit with regard to its suitability for being propagating, which remain unchanged after such propagation, and includes propagating material of such variety, extant variety, transgenic variety, farmers’ variety and essentially derived variety.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are about creations of the mind, they are granted to creators of IP, for ideas which are new and original, by the respective governments. No one can use others’ IPR without their permission. These rights come with limited monopoly and exclusivity.

Which is the office for making application for the registration of plant varieties?

Which is the office for making application for the registration of plant varieties?
Which is the office for making application for the registration of plant varieties?

Application for registration of plant varieties can be made in the office of Registrar, PPV&FRA, New Delhi. The address of the Office is: Registrar, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority, Govt. of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Society Block, 2nd Floor, NASC Complex, DPS Marg, Opposite Todapur, New Delhi – 110012. Also any information regarding the protection, application, fee structure, etc. can be obtained from this office.

Completed forms in triplicate, with fee/charges should be submitted to the Registrar with all enclosures, TQ, affidavits in his New Delhi Office or can be sent by Registered Post. Two branch offices have also been opened one at Guwahati (Assam) and one at Ranchi (Jharkhand) to facilitate the applicants.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are about creations of the mind, they are granted to creators of IP, for ideas which are new and original, by the respective governments. No one can use others’ IPR without their permission. These rights come with limited monopoly and exclusivity.