Geographical indications

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Goods with special qualities attributing to their place of origin explained as GI

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Bhujangrao Patil : Hi Hanumantrao Patil ! How come you are here at Chennai station ? Hanumantrao Patil Oh! Namaskar Bhujangrao Patil . what a surprise? I am here on holidays in Chennai. Bhujangrao Patil – Well! I came here for renewal of Geographical Indication. So how is your farming going on ? Hanumantrao Patil - You know, we are producing the huge quantity of onions. The climate is very favourable for the onion crops in Lasalgaon . And we have come up as the largest producers of onions in Asia . Bhujangrao Patil - Off course! The climate in Nasik district and Lasalgaon is such a fine and have a favourable conditions for Grapes and Onions that, we at Sholapur are not able to grow such a fine stuff. It’s the speciality of the place.

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Bhujangrao Patil – Well! I have to go to the Geographical Indications Registry to renew our Sholapur C haddar Geographical Indication. We are about to finish our term for first 10 years. Hanumantrao Patil – what is Geographical indication ? Bhujangrao Patil - The Geographical Indication is an Indication which identifies a good as originating in a place, where a given Quality Reputation or Other characteristic of the good are due to its geographical origin. Geographical Indication include : Agricultural goods such as Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Naga Mirchi ; Natural goods such as Illmanite and Monosite of Kerala; Manufactured goods such as Kanchipuram Silk, Pythani , Mysore Silk; Handicrafts such as Tanjavur Art Plate, Blue Pottery of Jaipur;

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Bhujangrao Patil – The Sholapur Chaddars have special qualities concerning the process of Doubling, Dying, Winding, Wrapping, Weaving, Finishing, as all this processes are done at one single place which involves specified skills, which are peculiar to the plac e . Hanumantrao Patil – I need to know more on this ….. can you please explain me ? Bhujangrao Patil – Ok, You know what Sholapur is famous for? Hanumantrao Patil - Offcourse ! The Sholapur Chaddars . Industrial Products such as Swiss watches , Coimbatore Wet Grinders; Food Stuffs such as Agra Peta , Bikaneri Bhujiya ; wine and Spirit such as Goan Feni etc. Hanumantrao Patil – Oh! So Geographical Indication means the goods are made in a particular place. I got it, It’s like “Made in India”, “Made in England”.

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. Bhujangrao Patil – No ! A trademark is a brand name that refers to the manufacturer or service provider. For example Trademark “Colgate ” indicates that the C o lgate Toothpaste is manufactured by the Colgate Company. Likewise the trademark “Air India” identifies that particular Airline services are provided by Air India Ltd. Bhujangrao Patil – No, Made in India, or made in England indicate only the source from where the goods come. Whereas, Geographical Indication is associated with not only “place” but with the “quality of the product originating from that place”. Hanumant rao Patil - Then is it similar to Trade Mark ? While a Geographical Indication tells consumers not only that a product is produced in a “certain place”, but also that it has “certain special characteristics referring to that place”.

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Hanumantrao - But what made these goods to be recognised as geographical indications? I mean they are just goods belonging to an area with good quality and they will be known as such ; why they need to be given such a status as GI? Rising demand for such products among the consumers, gave rise to incidents of counterfeiting products, which destroyed the image of such genuine products. Hence to safeguard the interest of the producers and consumers , such products have been protected as “ Geographical Indications”. Bhujangrao patil - Geographical Indications are generally traditional products, produced by rural communities over generations, that have gained a reputation on the global markets for having unique qualities originating from a particular region , and started to be identified as the goods belonging to those particular region.

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However, as the Darjeeling Tea geographical indication has been registered in India and world wide, it has been fully protected and no other country with similar name or type of names is allowed to market the product . Hanmantrao Patil : Oh! This is a great measure. Otherwise dishonest commercial operators could misrepresent the products and thereby manage to take away the genuine producer’s valuable business, causing damage to their reputation and goodwill. Bhujangrao Patil -   For example, the best quality of tea produced in India is appreciated worldwide from Darjeeling and has a great demand for the taste and peculiarities of the product . It is copied by some of the fraudsters from Asian countries like Srilanka , Kenya,Nepal and marketed with similar type names .

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Bhuganjrao patil : Rachana Foundation a Mumbai based NGO gave us this information. For getting the status of Geographical Indication for the product, application should be made to Geographical Indications Registry office at Chennai . Hanumantrao Patil : Bhau , it appears to be quite interesting. Let’s do one thing, we have met after a long time! We will have Garam Garam Samosa and Tea. Its almost lunch time. And you please explain me the procedure for getting the status of Geographical Indication to the products. Lets see if I can think of getting Geographical Indication to our Lasalgaon Onions Bhuganjrao patil - Oh! Samosa, its tempting! Common lets go…. Hanumantrao patil - Patil! where from you got so much information about Geographical Indications? Hanumantrao Patil - Is it compulsory to register the product?

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It offers exclusive status to your product and thereby gives better legal protection for action against infringement or misuse. Only an authorized user gets the exclusive rights to use , market, produce and export the product and to reap the financial benefits . By registering, you are providing complete information of your product to your customers and thus protecting your customers from fake products and getting them associated with you firmly. Registration enables seeking legal protection in other country, and thus making your products world famous. It increases exports of Indian Geographical indications and thereby boots the rural developments and employment opportunities. Bhuganjrao patil – No it is not mandatory to register, however, there are certain advantages of registering a Geographical Indication, like:

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Bhujangrao Patil - A producer of goods is the authorised user. Hanumantrao: Ok! That means you and your association people are the authorised users of Sholapur C haddar ! And your rights will always be protected. I got it! Bhujangrao Patil - “ Producer” In case of agricultural goods means one who produces, processes or packages such goods; In case of natural goods , one who exploits the goods; In case of handicrafts or industrial goods, one who makes or manufactures the goods, and includes any person who trades or deals in such production, exploitation , making or manufacturing, as the case may be. Hanumantrao Patil - Sounds interesting! But who is the “authorised user”? Hanumantrao Patil - Who is a producer?

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Bhujangrao Patil : Yes my friend! we are the authorised users. However, the registration would be valid only for a term of 10 years, and there after the Indication needs to be renewed or else it will be removed from the register. And thats why, we came here for renewing our Sholapur chaddar ! The best part of the registration is that we are empowered to take legal action against infringers of our Geographical Indication. Hanumantrao patil - When is a registered Geographical Indication is said to be infringed or misused ? misleading as to the geographical origin of such goods falsely represent the origin of goods When the use of geographical indication result in an unfair competition Bhujangrao patil -   When an unauthorised user uses a geographical indication in a manner

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For example, the famous Sholapuri Chaddars manufactured in a place other than Sholapur and sold with such name, making consumer believe that it is from Sholapur, amounts to infringement of Sholapur Geographical Indication. Bhujangrao Patil – Also there are some falsifications of Geographical Indication, which are considered as offences . Hanumantrao patil – What do you mean exactly by falsification ? Bhuganjrao Patil - If a person sells goods, Falsely representing a GI as registered, By applying false GI, By improperly describing a place of business as connected with the GI Registry, it is considered as falsification or False representation

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Hanumantrao - Wow! There are so many benefits of registering GI! Our Lasalgaon people do not know about it. Can I apply for the registration of Lasalgaon Onion Geographical Indication? Bhujangrao Patil - Yes. You can, but not alone. Only t he a ssociation of persons or producers or a ny organisation or authority established by or under any law, r epresenting the interest of the producers may apply for registration . Hanumantrao Patil - Patil Saheb ! You know our farmers financial condition well. In extreme weather conditions we fall short of money. Can we sell or mortgage our Geographical Indication in bad times. Bhujangrao Patil : No. A Geographical I ndication is a public property belonging to all the producers of that particular area.

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B hujangrao Patil – Likewise Patil ! There are so many goods and products in India which have the potential for registration as Geographical Indications in India. T o name few Saswad Fig from Maharastra Goan Sausage (Food Stuff) from Goa. Sawantwadi Toys from Maharashtra Gadwal Saris from Andhrapradesh Nirmal Arts and Paintings from Nirmal , Andhrapradesh Tumba and Gonda (Handicraft) from Bastar and Jamgala ,Chattisgarh Mekhala Chaddar and Gamosa (Handicraft) from Guwahati, Assam. Lacquerware and Stonecraft (Handicraft) from Bihar Jadau and Kundan Jwellery from Jaipur Blue Pottery from Jaipur Hence, you cannot assign, transmit, license; pledge, or mortgage it. However, it can be transferred to your legal heirs after you.

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Hanumantrao - Patil Bhau! This information inspired me so much to get a Geographical status for my native Lasalgaon Onions. After going back to Lasalgaon I will suggest my farmer friends to get Lasalgaon Onions registered as GI and we expect you to guide us further . Hanumantrao – Oh! that’s great. We will certainly seek their guidance. Thank you Patil ! for sharing such a valuable information. Our farmer friends are really not aware, that our GI goods have got so much value and we can exploit them internationally. We should unite and form associations of producers. Dhanyawaad …….. Bhujangrao patil - Sure Patil ! However, now a days I am bit busy with these elections. After these elections are over we will gather all our farmer friends, take a meeting and will form an association first. If need be we will take the guidance of the NGO Rachana Foundation. They are ready to help us with required information.

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