Geographical Indication (GI) Tag: Meaning, Objectives, Examples and Key Facts

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A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is like a special recognition given to an entrepreneur or a group of businessmen in a specific region, state, or country who make high-quality products. The government grants these GI tags under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

What is Geographical Indication (GI) Tag?

• A GI or Geographical Indication tag is a process, that indicates some specific product name or a sign that relates to a specific geographical location or origin like a region, town, or country.

• The use of geographical indications can be considered as a certificate that a particular product is manufactured according to traditional methods, has certain qualities, or has a special reputation due to its geographical origin.

• A Geographical Indication (GI) is primarily an agricultural, natural, or manufactured product (Handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

• GI Tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorized users is allowed to use the popular product name. To function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.

• The Darjeeling Tea of  WestBengal was the first GI-tagged product of India Other examples of registered products under GI tagged are Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange, Kashmir Pashmina, etc.

Objectives of Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

The main purpose of the geographical indication (GI) tag is to stop others from using a registered geographical indication without permission. The GI gives protection to the special and unique goods made by an individual or a group of people.

Who issues GI Tag in India?

The issuance of GI tags follows the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, of 1999. The Geographical Indication Registry, operating under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for granting these tags.

Examples of the GI Tag in India

Sl. NoGeographical IndicationGoodsState
1.Darjeeling TeaAgricultureWest Bengal
2.Aranmulla KannadiHandicraftKerala
3.Pochampalli IkatHandicraftTelangana
4.Goa Cashew (Kaju Or Caju)AgricultureGoa
5.Chanderi SareesHandicraftMadhya Pradesh
6.Solapur ChaddarHandicraftMaharashtra
7.Solapur Terry TowelHandicraftMaharashtra
8.Kotpad Handloom fabricHandicraftOdisha
9.Ramban Sulai HoneyAgricultureJammu and Kashmir
10.Almora Lakhori MirchiAgricultureUttarakhand
Read More: Check out Updated list of GI Tag Product of 2023

GI Tag Key Facts

  • Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or sign on certain products linked to a specific geographic location.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, in 1999.
  • The Act came into effect on September 15, 2003, to protect and register GIs.
  • GIs are defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO TRIPS Agreement, identifying goods with a specific quality, reputation, or characteristic based on their geographic origin.
  • The GI tag ensures that only authorized users within the specified geographic territory can use the product name.
  • Darjeeling tea was the first product in India to receive the GI tag in 2004–2005.

FAQs on the Geographical Indication Tag

Q1. What is a Geographical Indication?


A GI Tag is like a special mark that tells us where a product comes from. It helps us know the origin of agricultural, natural, or manufactured goods and makes sure they are of good quality. For a product to get a GI Tag, it has to be made, processed, or prepared in the specific area for which the GI is given.

Q2. What are the benefits of geographical indications?


Getting a GI Tag stops others from making copies of the tagged products, giving legal protection to Geographical Indications in India. This tag is given to products of high quality, making customers happy. When products are of good quality, it also helps producers sell them internationally, bringing in more money and creating jobs in the region.

Q3. Who is an authorized user of the GI tag?


If a producer wants a GI Tag for their goods, they can apply for registration. Once the GI Tag is issued to them, they become the authorized user of that tag. This means that no one else from a different individual or area can use the same tag.

Q4. Who can apply for the registration of the GI tag?


Any individual producer, the association of persons, organizations, or authorities established by or under the law can apply to get a GI tag. However, the application should be written in the proper format along with the prescribed fee.

Q5. Is registration received once valid for a lifetime?


No, The registration of a geographical indication is valid only for 10 years although it can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

Q6. Can a registered geographical indication be assigned or transferred to somebody else?


No. A geographical indication is a public property of a particular area or state. It shall not be assigned or transferred, pledged, or mortgaged to others.
If the authorized user of the GI tag dies, his right transfers to his successor in title.

Q7. Can a registered authorized user be removed from the register?


Yes. The GI tag issuing authority or the Registrar of Geographical Indications can remove the geographical indication or an authorized user from the register. The registration can also be canceled (if found guilty) on the application of an aggrieved person.

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