top of page

Geographical Indications

What are Geographical Indications?

The term "geographical indication" (GI) refers to a type of intellectual property that identifies a product as coming from a particular geographical location and as possessing certain qualities, reputation, or characteristics that are primarily attributable to the geographic origin. Geographical Indications are also abbreviated as "GIs."

The protection afforded by GI grants legal recognition and protection to the manufacturers of the product, so defending the product's good name and preventing its inappropriate use. Protecting India's geographical indications (GIs) has become a key element in the country's efforts to preserve traditional knowledge and cultural legacy while also fostering economic expansion.

Geographical Indications in India

India has a cultural history that is both extensive and varied, and this is reflected in the country's cuisine, handicrafts, textiles, and other products. GIs contribute to the promotion of these one-of-a-kind products and help develop the value of their brands. The GI law in India protects a significant amount of the country's diverse array of goods. Darjeeling Tea, Basmati Rice, Kanchipuram Silk Sarees, Banarasi Silk Sarees, Alphonso Mango, and Nagpur Orange are some of the most well-known geographical indications (GIs) that originate from India

The Significance of Geographical Indications in India

Traditional knowledge and cultural heritage need to be protected. India has a rich cultural legacy and traditional knowledge, which can be seen in its handicrafts, textiles, and food. Traditional knowledge and cultural heritage need to be protected. The protection of GIs contributes to the preservation of this history as well as the traditional knowledge of the people that are responsible for producing these goods.

GIs contribute to the promotion of economic growth by assisting product manufacturers in obtaining legal recognition and protection for their work. This, in turn, helps the economy expand. GI protection contributes to the construction of these items' brand value, which in turn serves to increase their popularity and demand.

Increased exports: Geographical indication (GI) protection can assist in expanding exports by making Indian products more appealing to consumers located outside of India. GI protection can assist in the development of new markets for these products by increasing the value of the brands that are associated with them.

Employment opportunities: many of the goods that are protected by GI law are created by weavers, artisans, and small farmers who are on the margins of their respective industries. The protection of GI can be of assistance in the process of developing rural areas and providing economic possibilities in these communities.

Protection of consumers: Geographic indication protection ensures that customers are not misled or mislead by products that falsely claim to originate from a certain geographic region when in fact they do not originate from that location. This contributes to the protection of consumer interests as well as the promotion of fair business practises.

GIs in India: The Existing Legal Structure

The Geographical Indications of Products (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 is the piece of legislation in India that lays out the legal parameters for the protection of GIs. The Act permits the registration of GIs in India and ensures their continued protection. According to the Act, a geographical indication (GI) is "an indication that identifies goods as agricultural, natural or manufactured goods originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin."

This definition describes a GI as "an indication that identifies goods as agricultural, natural or manufactured goods originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country,

In accordance with the Act, an application for GI registration can be submitted by any association of persons, producers, organisations, or authorities that represents the interests of the producers of a particular product. Information regarding the product, its place of origin, the distinctive qualities of the product, and the manufacturing process must be included in the application. The application is reviewed by the Registrar of Geographical Indications, who then decides whether or not to register the GI in the applicant's name if the requirements are met.

After a GI has been registered, it is safeguarded against any usage that is not allowed. Nobody is allowed to utilise the GI for any product that does not come from the particular geographical place that the GI is registered for. The Act also includes provisions for punishment for when a GI is used inappropriately.

Typical instances of GIs in India

India has a rich and varied cultural legacy, and a number of goods coming from particular parts of the country have been given the designation of Geographical Indications (GIs) because of their distinctive qualities, good reputations, and reputation for excellence. Certain goods are protected by GI legislation and have come to be associated with their country of origin. Here are a few significant Indian GIs:

Darjeeling Tea: A distinctive and fragrant black tea, Darjeeling tea is grown in the Darjeeling area of West Bengal. Due to the altitude, soil, and climate of the area, it has a unique perfume and flavour. The iconic Indian export known as Darjeeling tea is regarded as one of the finest teas in the entire world.

Basmati rice is a long-grain aromatic rice that is mostly farmed in the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttarakhand. The peculiar geographic area, climate, and soil of the area are said to be responsible for the rice's characteristic scent and flavour.

Kanchipuram Silk Sarees: Traditional sarees created in the Tamil Nadu town of Kanchipuram are known as Kanchipuram Silk Sarees. These sarees are renowned for their dexterous textures, vivid hues, and elaborate motifs. These are among the finest silk sarees in India and are often composed of pure mulberry silk.

Alphonso Mango: Alphonso mango is a well-known kind of mango grown in the Ratnagiri and Raigad districts of India as well as the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The soil and climate of the area are responsible for the mango's distinctive perfume, sweetness, and flavour.

Banarasi Silk Sarees: Traditional sarees created in the Uttar Pradesh city of Varanasi are known as banarasi silk sarees. These sarees are renowned for their dexterous patterns, sumptuous textures, and vivid hues. These are among the finest silk sarees in India and are normally composed of pure silk.

Nagpur Oranges: Oranges grown in Maharashtra's Nagpur district include the popular Nagpur orange type. The soil and climate of the area are responsible for the orange's distinctive flavour, aroma, and texture.

These are just a handful of the many Indian GIs that have been recognised and given legal protection. These GIs support and safeguard traditional knowledge, cultural heritage, and India's economic development.


bottom of page