Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or reputation that are specific to that region. Since India is a country of rich culture and tradition, there exist many products which are indigenous to specific regions of the country. It prevents the patent of products being used by third party.
India as a member of World Trade Organisation (WTO) enacted the Geographical Indication of goods act, 1999. It has come into force with effect from 15 September, 2003. India has 236 GI products registered so far and over 270 more products have applied for the label.
India is a land of treasure filled with rich natural resources of agricultural products and other goods of high economic value. The objective of the Geographical Indication of goods act, 1999 is to have a specific law governing the GI of goods in the country which could protect the interest of producers of such goods, to exclude unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications. It is also useful to promote goods bearing Indian GI in the world market. Trade mark is a sign which is used in the course of trade whereas Geographical Indication is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.
Darjeeling tea of India was the first product to attain GI grant. It enhances tourism by building up the product’s reputation not just within the country but also in other parts of the world. The GI tag is not only useful for the producers but also the consumers and country as a whole.