A Geographical Indication (GI) refers to a sign, name, or symbol used on products having a specific geographical origin and possessing qualities or reputation that are due to that origin itself. A GI tag represents a geographical indication. To achieve the GI tag, both the product and its quality must depend on the geographical place of production. The Geographical Indication Rights prevent all the third-parties and unauthorized users or manufacturers from using the indication in the products that do not conform to the applicable standards. For instance, the producers of Darjeeling tea can exclude the use of the term ‘Darjeeling’ from the tea products that are either not grown in their jurisdictions or not produced as per the standards defined in the laws of geographical indication.
However, the owner of a GI tag can’t enforce the rights in preventing someone from making a product by incorporating the same techniques or procedure as set out in the standards for that specific indication. Geographical Indication Protection provides a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.
Geographical indication protection extends to a wide range of products including, but not limited to:
- Agricultural Products
- Industrial Products
- Wine and Spirit Drinks
Why Should You Obtain Geographical Indication Protection?
Many people and associations across the globe often get confused while thinking about whether it is worthwhile to obtain GI protection or not. Some of the benefits of registering a geographical indication are as follows, which will help you in understanding its importance.
1- ENHANCES ECONOMIC GROWTH
The protection of geographical indications leads to the overall economic prosperity of the manufacturers and producers. Furthermore, the marketing and promotion of the products with the GI tags enhance the secondary economic activities in that specific region, which in turn boosts the regional economic development. Last but not least, the protection of geographical indications creates a positive image and reputation of the product in the minds of the consumers and rewards the producers with incentives and better ROI.
2- PREVENTS UNAUTHORIZED USE OF GI TAGS
The registered holder of the GI tag has all the legal rights to prevent anyone not belonging to the GI region from using their GI tags. The owners can also initiate legal proceedings against the unauthorized user to save their reputation from being damaged.
3- EXPANDS BUSINESS
The prime purpose of registering a geographical indication is to seek protection for specific products produced in a particular geographical region, which further encourages and motivates the marketers to expand their business at a global level. Furthermore, the protection of geographical indications boosts exports and helps the producers in earning well for themselves.
4- INCREASES TOURISM
The protection of GI tags builds a global reputation for the products. People around the world notice various GI products from different regions and get motivated to visit those regions and use such products. Therefore, it helps in the growth of the tourism industry of that particular region as well.