Muga silk from Assam, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, Kerala's Malabar pepper and green cardamom and Kovai Cora cotton from Tamil Nadu are among the 31 ethnic Indian products that were given protection last fiscal against anyone getting patents in their names throughout the world.
The government granted a record number of protections against patents to region-specific products in 2007-08 through the Geographical Indications (GIs), a mechanism which India adopted through legislation in September, 2003.
The other GIs registered during 2007-08 are Aleppy coir, Navara and Palakkadan mutta rice varieties, Salem and Arani silks from Tamil Nadu, Allahabad surkha from Uttar Pradesh, Nakshi kantha from West Bengal, silver filigree from Andhra Pradesh and Ilkal sarees and Monsooned Malabar coffees from Karnataka and Kerala.
The number of GI registrations in 2007-08 is more than the total number of GIs registered during all previous years since the process commenced in India.
The total number of GI products registered by the nodal body Geographical Indications Registry at Chennai now stands at 61.
In 2007-08, the Registry received 37 applications for GI including Bagh Prints of Dhar from Madhya Pradesh, Banaras brocades and sarees and Lucknow chikan craft from UP, Kutch embroidery from Gujarat, Naga Mircha from Nagaland, Fazli mango from West Bengal, Pipli applique work from Orissa, Goan cashew feni, Assam tea and Nilgiri tea from Tamil Nadu.
These and other applications are under various stages of processing. The Centre has asked state governments to take initiative in promoting registration of GIs.
Registered GIs include Darjeeling tea, Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi fabric, Kotpad handlooms from Orissa, Mysore silk from Karnataka, Kullu shawl and Kangra tea from Himachal Pradesh and Pochampalli Ikat from Andhra.