Geographical Indications Current Affairs - 2019
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The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) has granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kolhapuris, the ethnic leather chappal (footwear) to four districts in each state of Maharashtra and Karnataka. These 8 districts are- Kolhapur, Sangli, Solapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts of Karnataka.
Uniqueness: These sturdy leather chappals are hand-crafted and tanned using vegetable dyes and the art of making them is passed down one generation to another.
History: As per GI application made by two states of Mharashtra and Karnataka, Kolhapuris can be traced back to 12th century when King Bijjal ruled Bidar (in Karnataka). King’s Prime Minister Vishwaguru Basavanna, wanted to create a casteless society and remove stigma attached to cobbler community, thus, the community embraced Lingayat faith and used its skills to start producing footwear that came to be known equally for its ruggedness and regal bearing.
‘Kolhapuri’ as a Brand was created only at beginning of 20th century when footwear began to be traded in Kolhapur (Maharashtra). Later, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur encouraged its production and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule in Kolhapur.
Benefits of GI Tag
It will help artisans export these chappals and also tie up with e-commerce giants such as Flipkart and Amazon.
With GI tag now these local artisans get legal support. Thus, anyone who is going to copy this can be punished.
Significance of GI tag
Getting GI tag will open large markets, both domestic and international to artisans who produce Kolhapuris. Also, getting GI tag for Kolhapuri means that footwear produced only in these 8 districts will qualify to carry tag of being Kolhapuris.
What is Geographical Indications?
GI is used on products/items which have specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
Validity: The tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
GI India: Recently Union Minister of Commerce and Industry launched logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) of India. The 1st product to get a GI tag in India was Darjeeling tea (2004).
The sui generis Act for protection of GI in India is Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act). This Act was enacted by India so as to comply with Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Tags: Controller General of Patents • Designs and Trade Marks • Geographical Indications • Geographical Indications of Goods Act 1999 • GI Tag • Karnataka • Maharashtra • Namma Kolhapuri chappals • Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry • Vishwaguru Basavanna • World Trade Organisation
The Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has launched social media campaign to promote Indian Geographical Indications (GIs).
It has been launched under CIPAM’s ongoing campaign #LetsTalkIP to make more people aware about importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). The promotion of GIs is in line with Government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Geographical Indication (GI) is sign or insignia used on products that have specific geographical origin and possess qualities or reputation that are due to that origin. Such name, sign or insignia conveys assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
The status to products marks its authenticity and ensures that only registered authorised users are allowed to use popular product name. Darjeeling Tea, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of examples for products having GIs.
Importance of GIs to India
GIs products are of utmost importance as they are integral part of India’s rich culture and collective intellectual heritage. GI tag has accorded protection to number of hand-made and manufactured products, especially in informal sector. Certain GI products benefits rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmens who possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.
GIs are covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property (IPRs). At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In India, GI registration is governed by Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force in September 2003. It is granted by Chennai based Geographical Indications Registry (GIR). Darjeeling tea was first product to accorded with GI tag in India.