Geographical Indicators

IPR, Legislation, Policy

Geographical Indicators: Wake up Call!

Gupta, Manisha

While everybody’s attention is focused on the Sariska issue, which is being called the “biggest wakeup call”, there’s yet another issue which needs to be addressed by the state of Rajasthan. Since even “protected tigers can disappear and be lost forever, what about things left unprotected?

The reference here is to the various products of the state which are specific to it by virtue of their being linked to the geographical and regional factors-be they natural, climactic or even human. Such products, which owe their basic characteristics to the geographical region, are protected by the Indian Geographical Indications Act, the most appropriate Intellectual Property (IP) tool, to begin protecting community owned brands. Under this newly operational act in India, such ‘geographically indicated’ products can be registered and they then have the advantage of competing fairly and stemming the fake market to a large extent. In this culturally rich state, the land of folklore and cultural expressions, there is a tremendous amount of intangible heritage. From the typical varieties of folk music & dance to the specific arts & crafts, weaving & embroidery, painting styles and many other such cultural manifestations of its colorful and lively existence, the range is enormous. Everybody is familiar with the "Basmati controversy", which wouldn't have taken place if India had had a relevant act in place, on time. Now since we do have one, we should move fast and register such products,...
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