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Geographical Indication Tags

Published on Friday, November 24, 2017
Geographical Indication Tags : Importance And Challenges

A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is sign or name given to a product which have a particular geographical origin and possess quality because of that specific geographical region. In other words, It certifies that products have a certain quality, made with traditional methods and have reputation for itself, for example Nagpur Orange. The GI tag ensures that none apart from those registered as authorized users or a minimum of those residing within the geographical territory are allowed to use famous product name.

Why in news?

Recently GI authorities gave GI tag to famous ‘Rosogolla’ of West Bengal. It was claimed by the Odisha that ‘Rosogolla’ was invented in Puri in the 13th century but West Bengal argued that it was invented in Kolkata by confectioner Nobin Chandra Das in 1860s. GI authorities cleared it out that ‘Rosogolla’ is invention of West Bengal and thus gave the GI tag in favour of West Bengal. The Mamallapuram Stone Sculpture of Andhra Pradesh also got GI tag along with ‘Rosogolla’.

Why GI tag is important :

GI tag is important due to following reasons :

  • It gives recognition to the product , making it famous all over the world. 
  • The price of the product increases due to its recognition and standard quality. 
  • It boosts exports of the product due to demand for the standard products in the international markets. Hence It brings profit to the country. 
  • It helps producers of the product to differentiate it from other fake and low quality product of the same category. 
  • It helps to preserve the traditional methods by giving them support and recognition in the market. 
  • It increases income of farmers and artisans due to high selling price of the product in the market. 
  • It has great potential to increase trade between two countries. Hence it becomes a part of soft power too. 
  • It can also lead to increase in tourism in the country, as places get also famous with the product. 

Important Things To Know :

  • GI tags comes under the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention For The Protection Of Industrial Properties. 
  • In India , GI tags are governed by Geographical Indications Of Goods (Registration and Protection Act) 1999 which is administered by Controller General Of Patents, Designs and Trademark who also acts as Registrar of GI tags. 
  • At International level, they are governed by WTO’s agreement on Trade Related Aspects Intellectual Property Rights also known as TRIPS. 

Some Challenges GI Tags Face :

  • Developed countries products like wines are given special treatment in comparison to developing countries products, hence there is need of equality among all GI products in context of protection and special treatment. 
  • As seen in the case of ‘Rosogolla’ , states have disagreements over ownership of the products. 
  • Many fake products have been sold in the name of GI tag products , which affects the image and market for the original products. 

Conclusion :

  • GI tags are important part of the market, it have the potential to increase the pace of growth of country. Hence there is need to pay attention to challenges and provide more GI tags for worthy products. GI tags can act as a solution for evanescent traditions , hence preserving the culture of the country. 
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