Description of Geographical Indications and its Impact in India

The definition of Geographical Indications, its significance and relevance in developing countries like India, the impact of the GI Act in India, the benefits and challenges of the Act with specific product cases in India.

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Geographical Indications
It was in Europe that the concept of Geographical Indications originated. It originated in the 19th century. The framework of GI is in Article 22 of TRIPS (Nanda et al, 2013).
GIs act as ‘source indicator’- indicating to buyers the source of the goods they purchase. GIs add the aspect of quality to the product and help them to stand out from the crowd (Jokuti, 2009).
The conditions to be met for a GI are that it should identify the product by a name, symbol, word(s) or phrase(s), should have a particular reputation/quality pertaining to the geographical area and the indication should clearly identify the area(Rangekar, 2003).
Studies have shown the advantages of GI registration (Nanda et al, 2013). The GI tag may suggest a better quality product or a more authentic one (Pant, 2015). However other studies have also shown the downside of GIs. GIs could lead to exclusion of the majority in benefiting from the GI. This could result in a few firms making a disparate amount of profits (Gopalakrishnan (2007), Rangnekar (2009)). …

This paper looks at the origin of GI in India and the registrations of products in India under the GI Act. While GI can go a long way in protecting producers, it still has its limitations. The study outlines how the number of GIs has grown in India. Opinions are mixed on the benefits of GIs with some opining that GIs could help ad few while excluding many. Looking at cases in India, the study also tries to analyze the implications of GI registrations.

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