The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 (the Act) provide for registration of Handicrafts (& Handlooms) as Geographical indications (GI). Handicraft (& Handlooms) is covered under Section 2(f) of the Act which states that “goods” means any agricultural, natural or manufactured goods or any goods of handicraft (& Handlooms) or of industry and includes food stuff. Handicraft artisans & weacers can be registered as Authorized Users for the registered Geographical Indications as provided under Section 7(3) read with Section 17 of the Act. The Act provides that any person claiming to be the producer of the goods in respect of which a geographical indication has been registered under section 6 may apply in writing to the Registrar in the prescribed manner for registering him as an authorized user of such geographical indication. As on July 31, 2016, 1152 GI Authorized user have been registered under the Act for handicraft (& Handloom) goods.
A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. For example, in the jurisdictions in which the Darjeeling geographical indication is protected, producers of Darjeeling tea can exclude use of the term “Darjeeling” for tea not grown in their tea gardens or not produced according to the standards set out in the code of practice for the geographical indication. However, a protected geographical indication does not enable the holder to prevent someone from making a product using the same techniques as those set out in the standards for that indication. Protection for a geographical indication is usually obtained by acquiring a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.
Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts (& Handlooms), and industrial products.
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