Absence Of Protection Law Makes Agri Products Vulnerable

New Delhi, June 29: | Updated: Jun 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
The absence of any special protection law for geographical indications (GIs) in many World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries makes Indias GIs such as basmati rice, alphonso mangoes, Darjeeling tea etc vulnerable to false and unauthorised use.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) says that most of the member countries have special protection for wines and spirits but not for agri-products. As India is a country richly endowed with GIs, it is important for it to seek an appropriate protection for such products

Ficci has pointed that most countries have laws focussing on business practices or trademark law which, while not specifically providing protection to GI, either prohibit business practices involving misuse of GIs or provides protection against the use of GIs as trademarks. GI in itself is not eligible for protection under these laws.

A geographical indication points to a specific place or region of production that determines the characteristic qualities of the products that originate therein.

GIs need protection because their false use by unauthorised parties is detrimental to consumers and legitimate producers, says Ficci.