As Oil, Banglar Rasgolla(2017) e. Foodstuff- Hyderabadi Haleem,

As defined by the World Intellectual
Property Organisation, “A geographical indication is a sign used on
products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a
reputation that are due to that origin.”1

Essentially, the GI tag provides an
assurance of quality and uniqueness, which are attributable to the place of its
origin. This agricultural, natural or a manufactured cultural product is
awarded a tag by registrar of G.I to protect manufacturers who produce these
genuine products. They also get a premium pricing for the same in the domestic
and international markets. It helps a community of producers which are
traditionally; culturally associated to their goods to differentiate from other
competing products in market and help the consumers in identifying genuine
quality-products and also protect them against counterfeits. In India some of
the examples of geographical indications are:

Registered GI:

a.    
Agriculture- Darjeeling Tea (word & logo), Spices Alleppey Green Cardamom, Basmati Rice, Nagpur Orange.

b.    
Natural- Makrana marble, Maheshwar Sarees & Fabric

c.     
Handicraft- Pochampally Ikat, Salem Fabric, Solapur
Chaddar, Nakshi Kantha,
Dhaniakhali Saree, Madhubani Paintings

d.    
Manufactured- Mysore Sandalwood
Oil, Banglar Rasgolla(2017)

e.     
Foodstuff- Hyderabadi Haleem, Dharwad Pedha

India, in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO, enacted ‘The
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 2003 to
provide protection to the goods (classified into 34 classes and appended as the
fourth schedule to the G.I registration and protection rule) registered under
the Act.

Infringement of G.I3-

A G.I which has been registered, is infringed when

      
i.           
A person, who is not
a registered proprietor or an authorized user, makes use of such G.I on goods
or insinuates that goods, on which the G.I is used, are from some other
geographical area than from true place of origin.

    
ii.           
Misusing G.I in his
manner is referred to as an act of  unfair
competition

 
iii.           
A person who is not an authorized
user or a registered proprietor, uses a G.I to the goods which misrepresents to
the public that those goods originates in that particular area or area in
respect of which the G.I relates.

Remedies for Infringement4

The remedies available for protection
of geographical indications may broadly be classified into Criminal remedies
& civil remedies

Criminal Remedies

The Geographical Indications of Goods
(Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 contains penal provision for violation
of various provisions relating to geographical indications i.e. falsifying and
falsely applying geographical indications to goods, selling goods to which
false geographical indications is applied, falsely representing a geographical
indication as registered, improperly describing a place of business as
connected with the geographical indications registry and falsification of
entries in the register.

The punishment prescribed for the
aforesaid offences under section 39 of the G.I Act varies from 6
months to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rupees fifty
thousand but may extend to Rupees two lakh. However, the court for adequate
and special reasons in writing may impose lesser punishment .Section 41 prescribes
for enhanced penalty for second or subsequent conviction varies from 1 years
to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rupees one lakh but may
extend to Rupees two lakh. The offence committed under sections 39, 40,and 41
are cognizable offences as stated under section 50(3) the Act empowers
the Deputy Superintendent of Police to take cognizance of geographical
indications offences and may search and seize things and articles involved therein.
The Act empowers the Court to direct the forfeiture to Government of all
the goods and things by means of or in relation to which certain offences
mentioned therein have been committed. Section 42 prohibits falsely
representing a G.I as unregistered and make such an offence punishable with an
imprisonment which may be extend to 3 years or with a fine or both.

Civil Remedies

No remedy in the
G.I act for an unregistered G.I, apart from instituting proceeding
under the common law for passing off. A suit for infringement or passing off
has to be instituted before the district court .In a case dealing with infringement,
the district court may grant compensation on accounts of profit and at the same
also order the delivery up of the infringing labels for their destruction or
seizure.

The remedies include the following

a)    
Injunction (Judicial process)- is an
order of the court to stop/prevent the infringer doing or to do a particular act,
which may be ex parte for

                     
i.           
Discovery of the documents;

                   
ii.           
preserving or infringing
goods/documents/any other evidenced in respect of the subject matter ;

                
iii.           
Stopping the infringer from disposing
of his assets/infringing goods which may affect the interest of the authorised
user from recovering damages, cost or other monetary remedies which may be
finally awarded to him after suit is adjudicated.

b)   
Damages- The primary aim of damages is to compensate for the loss suffered due to
infringement of G.I to the aggrieved party.

c)    
Accounts of profit-

d)   
Any other remedy that the court deems
fit and necessary as per the facts of the case.

Pochampalli Ikat Case5

Pochampally a handloom cluster is
known for its very unique Ikat design for centuries in Andhra pradesh. It
has about 5000 weavers who weave the handloom with traditional design called
Ikat. The famous Pochampally ikat tie-and-dye sari is the first traditional
Indian craft to receive this status of geographical Indications. This will
protect the Pochampally handloom sari from unfair competition and counterfeit.
An estimated one hundred thousand weavers in Andhra Pradesh may benefit from
the granting of Intellectual Property Rights to the traditional tie-and-dye
fabric, which has seen falling demand due to competition from cheaper fabrics
copying from their design.

There was a law suit filed
under GI Act on infringement of GI of POCHAMPALLI IKAT. In this case
plaintiffs are manufacturing POCHAMPALLI IKAT fabric made of natural materials
such as cotton or silk or a combination of both, having designs that are
evocative of the diffused diamond or chowka design. But the defendant was
selling some sarees by using false GI HYCO POCHAMPALLI. To protect their legal
rights the plaintiffs filed a suit against defendants’ for injunction restraining
infringement of GI, passing off, unfair, competition. After hearing contentions
from both the parties the court said ‘ the adoption of the mark HYCO
POCHAMPALLI by the defendant is blatantly dishonest and malafide attempt
to derive unfair advantage by creating the impression that the Defendants
products have some connection, nexus, association, affiliation with or
endorsement by the plaintiffs. Eventually, the verdict was not delivered and
the case was settled out of court after the errant party pleaded innocence on
the account of his ignorance about the Act. Finally the suit was decreed in
favour of plaintiffAs defined by the World Intellectual
Property Organisation, “A geographical indication is a sign used on
products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a
reputation that are due to that origin.”1Essentially, the GI tag provides an
assurance of quality and uniqueness, which are attributable to the place of its
origin. This agricultural, natural or a manufactured cultural product is
awarded a tag by registrar of G.I to protect manufacturers who produce these
genuine products. They also get a premium pricing for the same in the domestic
and international markets. It helps a community of producers which are
traditionally; culturally associated to their goods to differentiate from other
competing products in market and help the consumers in identifying genuine
quality-products and also protect them against counterfeits. In India some of
the examples of geographical indications are:

Registered GI:

a.    
Agriculture- Darjeeling Tea (word & logo), Spices Alleppey Green Cardamom, Basmati Rice, Nagpur Orange.

b.    
Natural- Makrana marble, Maheshwar Sarees & Fabric

c.     
Handicraft- Pochampally Ikat, Salem Fabric, Solapur
Chaddar, Nakshi Kantha,
Dhaniakhali Saree, Madhubani Paintings

d.    
Manufactured- Mysore Sandalwood
Oil, Banglar Rasgolla(2017)

e.     
Foodstuff- Hyderabadi Haleem, Dharwad Pedha

India, in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO, enacted ‘The
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 2003 to
provide protection to the goods (classified into 34 classes and appended as the
fourth schedule to the G.I registration and protection rule) registered under
the Act.

Infringement of G.I3-

A G.I which has been registered, is infringed when

      
i.           
A person, who is not
a registered proprietor or an authorized user, makes use of such G.I on goods
or insinuates that goods, on which the G.I is used, are from some other
geographical area than from true place of origin.

    
ii.           
Misusing G.I in his
manner is referred to as an act of  unfair
competition

 
iii.           
A person who is not an authorized
user or a registered proprietor, uses a G.I to the goods which misrepresents to
the public that those goods originates in that particular area or area in
respect of which the G.I relates.

Remedies for Infringement4

The remedies available for protection
of geographical indications may broadly be classified into Criminal remedies
& civil remedies

Criminal Remedies

The Geographical Indications of Goods
(Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 contains penal provision for violation
of various provisions relating to geographical indications i.e. falsifying and
falsely applying geographical indications to goods, selling goods to which
false geographical indications is applied, falsely representing a geographical
indication as registered, improperly describing a place of business as
connected with the geographical indications registry and falsification of
entries in the register.

The punishment prescribed for the
aforesaid offences under section 39 of the G.I Act varies from 6
months to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rupees fifty
thousand but may extend to Rupees two lakh. However, the court for adequate
and special reasons in writing may impose lesser punishment .Section 41 prescribes
for enhanced penalty for second or subsequent conviction varies from 1 years
to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rupees one lakh but may
extend to Rupees two lakh. The offence committed under sections 39, 40,and 41
are cognizable offences as stated under section 50(3) the Act empowers
the Deputy Superintendent of Police to take cognizance of geographical
indications offences and may search and seize things and articles involved therein.
The Act empowers the Court to direct the forfeiture to Government of all
the goods and things by means of or in relation to which certain offences
mentioned therein have been committed. Section 42 prohibits falsely
representing a G.I as unregistered and make such an offence punishable with an
imprisonment which may be extend to 3 years or with a fine or both.

Civil Remedies

No remedy in the
G.I act for an unregistered G.I, apart from instituting proceeding
under the common law for passing off. A suit for infringement or passing off
has to be instituted before the district court .In a case dealing with infringement,
the district court may grant compensation on accounts of profit and at the same
also order the delivery up of the infringing labels for their destruction or
seizure.

The remedies include the following

a)    
Injunction (Judicial process)- is an
order of the court to stop/prevent the infringer doing or to do a particular act,
which may be ex parte for

                     
i.           
Discovery of the documents;

                   
ii.           
preserving or infringing
goods/documents/any other evidenced in respect of the subject matter ;

                
iii.           
Stopping the infringer from disposing
of his assets/infringing goods which may affect the interest of the authorised
user from recovering damages, cost or other monetary remedies which may be
finally awarded to him after suit is adjudicated.

b)   
Damages- The primary aim of damages is to compensate for the loss suffered due to
infringement of G.I to the aggrieved party.

c)    
Accounts of profit-

d)   
Any other remedy that the court deems
fit and necessary as per the facts of the case.

Pochampalli Ikat Case5

Pochampally a handloom cluster is
known for its very unique Ikat design for centuries in Andhra pradesh. It
has about 5000 weavers who weave the handloom with traditional design called
Ikat. The famous Pochampally ikat tie-and-dye sari is the first traditional
Indian craft to receive this status of geographical Indications. This will
protect the Pochampally handloom sari from unfair competition and counterfeit.
An estimated one hundred thousand weavers in Andhra Pradesh may benefit from
the granting of Intellectual Property Rights to the traditional tie-and-dye
fabric, which has seen falling demand due to competition from cheaper fabrics
copying from their design.

There was a law suit filed
under GI Act on infringement of GI of POCHAMPALLI IKAT. In this case
plaintiffs are manufacturing POCHAMPALLI IKAT fabric made of natural materials
such as cotton or silk or a combination of both, having designs that are
evocative of the diffused diamond or chowka design. But the defendant was
selling some sarees by using false GI HYCO POCHAMPALLI. To protect their legal
rights the plaintiffs filed a suit against defendants’ for injunction restraining
infringement of GI, passing off, unfair, competition. After hearing contentions
from both the parties the court said ‘ the adoption of the mark HYCO
POCHAMPALLI by the defendant is blatantly dishonest and malafide attempt
to derive unfair advantage by creating the impression that the Defendants
products have some connection, nexus, association, affiliation with or
endorsement by the plaintiffs. Eventually, the verdict was not delivered and
the case was settled out of court after the errant party pleaded innocence on
the account of his ignorance about the Act. Finally the suit was decreed in
favour of plaintiff