Explain the Identification of Registered Geographical Indications (GI) items. What are the common methods used to project GI in India.

Explain the Identification of Registered Geographical Indications (GI) items. What are the common methods used to project GI in India.



  • Registered GI products are granted a tag, which is printed on the registered products. The tag confirms the genuineness of the product in terms of its production (by set standards) and location of production.
  • Non-registered GI products cannot use/exploit this tag.
  • By and large, GI tags represent the place of origin (of the product) along with cultural and/or historical identity e.g. Darjeeling Tea, Mysore Silk, Tirupathi Laddu, etc.
  • In India GI tags are issued by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The head of GI registry is at Geographical Indications Registry Intellectual Property Office Building, Industrial Estate, G.S.T Road, Guindy, and Chennai – 600032.
  • GI registered products can be grown / produced in any part of the world using standards laid down by the GI Registry.
  • However, these products cannot be labeled as GI as they are not produced/ manufactured in a specific geographical location, as mentioned in the official records maintained by the GI Office of GI.
  • For example, plants of Darjeeling Tea can be grown in any part of India. But the tea leaves of these plants cannot be sold under the brand name of Darjeeling Tea, as the concerned plants were not grown in the soil and climate of the Darjeeling area.


  • The IP rights to GI are enforced by the court of law of the concerned country.
  • The GI registration of a product has certain advantages.
  • It enables to identify pirated/non-genuine stuff, provides more commercial value to the product, and also strengthens the case if it reaches the judicial courts.
  • The two common methods of protecting a GI are:
    • Sui generis systems (i.e. special regimes of protection) and under certification or collective mark systems. Many countries, including India to protect GI by using the sui generis system.
    • This decision was taken after the TRIPS agreement (1995) and an option was given to the countries to choose either TRIPS standards or the sui generis system.
    • This was decided by considering the fact that every country has different legislation and geographical structures & resources. Therefore, this system is not uniform in all countries and varies according to the jurisdiction and legislation of the particular country.

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