Any sign used on products which indicate towards a certain specific geographical area or location and possesses qualities or retains a reputation associated with the said location from which it is originating from is understood as a Geographical Indication section 2 (e) of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999. The Act necessitates the product making the use of a GI to possess characteristics which directly associate it with the traditional or customary know-how or reputation of the originating location.
STEP 1 : Filing of application
An application for registration of a Geographical Indication (GI) can be filed by an association of persons or producers or any organization or authority such as, trade unions for it to be used collectively to signify to the consumers an authentic product deriving from a particular geographical location.
Such persons/association(s)/organisation(s) are to represent the interest of the producers or manufacturers of the concerned products and an Affidavit is to be filed along with the same describing exhaustively on what grounds the Applicant claims to represent their interests.
Details and Address of Service Proof (in India) of the Applicant must be provided. In the event of a large number of producers are participating in the trade, a collective reference must be made in reference to the GI.
Three copies of the Application are required to be submitted with the Registrar.
The Application must be signed by the Applicant or his Agent/Attorney and the full name of the entity signing the document must be written in bold letters and legible writing/font. Triplicate of the Statement of Case and the map of location of origin must be accompanying the Application along with five additional representations. The Statement of Case must specify as to what are the special characteristic standard of the products originating from the claimed location.
Details of the inspection structure if any to regulate the use of the GI in the territory to which it relates.
STEP 2 and 3: Preliminary scrutiny and examination of the Application
The Examiner shall scrutinize the Application for any deficiencies and in case, anya re found, they are to be remedied by the Applicant within one month of communication made by the Examiner about the same.
The subject matter of the Statement of Case is assessed by a consultative group of experts who are well-versed on the related subject.
Examination Report shall be issued thereafter.
STEP 4: Show cause notice
The Registrar may communicate with the Applicant the purpose and details of the Objection, if any, to which, the Applicant is mandated to respond within two months and make an application for hearing.
The decision will be duly communicated. If the applicant wishes to appeal, a request for the same shall be made within a period of one month.
If in case an application is accepted in error, the Registrar hold the power to reject the Applicant thereafter.
STEP 5: Publication in the Geographical Indications Journal
On Acceptance of the Application, the same shall be published in the Journal in order to communicate the same with the public and prevent infringement of GI.
STEP 6: Opposition to Registration
Within a period of three of months of making an Application for Registration of GI and publication of the same in the Journal, a Notice of Objection can be made. The period of Objection may be extended by a month on filing of a request within the said three months.
A copy of the notice would be served to the Applicant by the Registrar.
Within two months, the Applicant shall file their Counter Statement. In case of any default in filing the Counter Statement, the Application would be deemed to have abandoned his application. Where the counter-statement has been filed, the registrar shall serve a copy on the person giving the notice of opposition.
Either party’s are afforded the chance to file relevant evidences and Affidavits or any other such documents supporting their claims. The date of Hearing would be fixed by the Registrar, henceforth.
STEP 7: Registration
On acceptance of the Application, the date of registering the GI would be the date of filing the original Application. Meaning that the geo-tag would have a retrospective effect.
A certificate along with the seal of the GI registry would be provided to the Applicant by the Registrar.
STEP 8: Renewal
A registered GI shall be valid for 10 years and can be renewed on payment of renewal fee.
STEP 9: Appeal
Any person aggrieved by an order or decision may prefer an Appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate within three months.
For registrability, the indications must fall within the scope of section 2(1)(e) of GI Act, 1999. Nonetheless, any Geographical Indication mark which may cause confusion or would likely be deceiving to the public, or the use of which is prohibited by law in force, or which contains scandalous or obscene matter, or is likely to hurt the sentiments of the any sect of our Indian community, be it religious or otherwise, or are generic, can not be registered under the said Act. This is also true in the case where the mark appropriately indicates the originating location, however, wrongly represents the producers or manufacturers.
An application may be made to the registrar in respect of goods notified by the central Government for additional protection for a registered geographical indication accompanied in triplicate along with a statement of case and shall be accompanied with the copy of the notification issued.
The application shall be made jointly by the registered proprietor of the Geographical indications in India and by all the producers of the Geographical indication.
The Affidavits required by the Act and the rules to be filed at the Geographical indications Registry or furnished to the Registrar, unless otherwise provided in the matter or matters to which they relate, paragraphs consecutively numbered, and each paragraph shall as far as practicable be confined to one subject. Every affidavit shall state the description and the true place of abode of the person filing it and shall state on whose behalf it is filed.
In India-before any court or person having by law authority to receive evidence, or before any officer empowered by such court as aforesaid to administer oaths or to take affidavit, in any country or place outside India before a diplomatic or Consular Officers (Oaths and Fee) Act, 1948, or such country or place, or before a notary public or before a judge or magistrate of the country or place.
Where the deponent is illiterate blind or unacquainted with the language in which the affidavit is written a certificate by the person taking the affidavit that the affidavit has read translated or explained in his presence to the deponent made his signature or mark in his presence shall appear in the Court.
Every affidavit filed before the Registrar in connection with any of the proceedings under the Act or the rules shall be duly stamped under the law for the time being in force.