Procedure for IPR protection through GI Act

Procedure for Intellectual Property Rights protection through Geographical Indications Act, 1999
The potential of unique products for economic development of India has been well demonstrated in the globalised era. The increasing integration of the global economy under the WTO framework has not only brought about window of opportunities by market expansion but also created plethora of challenges for the unique products of the country in the form of large scale infringement of these products by other sectors, manufacturers and also other countries. It has threatened the very existence of these unique products and adversely affected the livelihood of the economically backward stakeholders of these products. In view of the growing threat to the intellectual properties of these products, the member countries of WTO including India have signed the TRIPS agreement in 1994 with a pledge to protect the intellectual property of the member countries. In pursuance of the TRIPS Agreement, the Indian Parliament has passed the Geographical Indication Act in 1999 and Rules in 2002, the same has been implemented in the year 2003. The Act provides guidelines for IPR protection of the unique products of different sectors like textiles and clothing, agriculture, handicrafts, horticulture, etc. The much needed protection will help the genuine producers to protect them from the counterfeit goods for their own advantage. Keeping these aspects in mind, the Textiles Committee under the project “Strategies and preparedness for trade and globalisation in textiles and clothing sector” is spearheading the GI registration of unique textile products of the country. However, the process of filing of the application and registration is complex and cumbersome. The general stakeholders may not be able to grasp the legal and procedural aspects involved in the process and incorporated in the GI act. In order to eliminate the bottleneck, we have tried to translate the complex legal aspects of the act into easily digestible language. As a part of this endeavour, the Textiles Committee has prepared a manual on “Procedure for IPR protection through Geographical Indication (GI) Act, 1999” for the thousands of stakeholders associated with unique products of the country.
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