A GI is used to identify “ agricultural, natural or manufactured” goods originating in a particular area. The Geographical Indications Registry has specified that such goods must have special qualities or characteristics unique to the geographical indication.
GI Vs Trade Mark:
GI differs from a Trade Mark in that a trade mark is a sign which is used in the course of trade and it distinguishes goods or services of one enterprise from those of the other enterprises, While a GI is used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.
While registration of GI is not compulsory, it offers better legal protection for action for infringement. The registration of a GI is usually for a period of 10 years. It can also be renewed for a further period of 10 years each. If a registration is not renewed after a period of 10 years, the particular item is liable to be removed from the GI register.
Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, GI’s are covered as an element of IPRs. They are also covered under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.
India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 and it has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.