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GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 48 of 1999


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter VIII
  • Chapter IX
  • Act nº 48 of 1999

Preamble

THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS

(REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999

[Act, No. 48 of 1999]

[30th December, 1999]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods.

be it enacted by Parliament in the Fiftieth Year of the Republic of India as follows:

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act, and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

1. 15th September, 2003 vide S.O. 1051 (E) dated 15-9-2003, published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Pt. II, Section 3(ii), dated 15th September, 2003.


Section 2. Definitions and interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

(a) "Appellate Board" means the Appellate Board established under section 83 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999;

(b) "authorised user" means the authorised user of a geographical indication registered under section 17;

(c) "deceptively similar" A geographical indication shall be deemed to be deceptively similar to another geographical indication if it so nearly resembles that other geographical indication as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion;

(d) "district court" has the meaning assigned to it in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908);

(e) "geographical indication", in relation to goods, means an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in case where such goods are manufactured goods one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be.

Explanation. For the purposes of this clause, any name which is not the name of country, region or locality of that country shall also be considered as the geographical indication if it relates to a specific geographical area and is used upon or in relation to particular goods originating from that country, region or locality, as the case may be;

(f) "goods" means any agricultural, natural or manufactured goods or any goods of handicraft or of industry and includes food stuff;

(g) "indication" includes any name, geographical or figurative representation or any combination of them conveying or suggesting the geographical origin of goods to which it applies;

(h) "name" includes any abbreviation of a name;

(i) "package" includes any case, box, container, covering, folder, receptacle, vessel, casket, bottle, wrapper, label, band, ticket, reel, frame, capsule, cap, lid, stopper and cork;

(j) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(k) "producer" in relation to goods, means any person who,

(i) if such goods are agricultural goods, produces the goods and includes the person who processes or packages such goods;

(ii) if such goods are natural goods, exploits the goods;

(iii) if such goods are handicraft or industrial goods, makes or manufactures the goods,

and includes any person who trades or deals in such production, exploitation, making or manufacturing, as the ease may be, of the goods;

(l) "register" means the Register of Geographical Indications referred to in section 6;

(m) "registered" (with its grammatical variations) means registered under this Act;

(n) "registered proprietor", in relation to a geographical indication, means any association of persons or of producer or any organisation for the time being entered in the register as proprietor of the geographical indication;

(o) "Registrar" means the Registrar of Geographical Indications referred to in section 3;

(p) "tribunal" means the Registrar or, as the case may be, the Appellate Board before which the proceeding concerned is pending.

(2) Words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Trade Marks Act, 1999 shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.

(3) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference

(a) to the use of a geographical indication shall be construed as a reference to the use of printed or other visual representation of the geographical indication;

(b) to the use of a geographical indication in relation to goods shall be construed as a reference to the use of the geographical indication upon, or in any physical or in any other relation whatsoever, to such goods;

(c) to a registered geographical indication shall be construed as including a reference to a geographical indication registered in the register;

(d) to the Registrar shall be construed as including a reference to any officer when discharging the functions of the Registrar in pursuance of sub-section (2) of section 3;

(e) to the Geographical Indications Registry shall be construed as including a reference to any office of the Geographical Indications Registry.

Chapter II

Section 3. Registrar of Geographical Indications

(1) The Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks appointed under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, shall be the Registrar of Geographical Indications.

(2) The Central Government may appoint such officers with such designations as it thinks fit for the purpose of discharging, under the suprintendence and direction of the Registrar, such functions of the Registrar under this Act, as he may from time to time authorise them to discharge.

Section 4. Power of Registrar to withdraw or transfer cases, etc

Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3, the Registrar may, by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded therein, withdraw any mailer pending before an officer appointed under the said sub-section (2) and deal with such matter himself either de novo or from the stage it was so withdrawn or transfer the same to another officer so appointed who may, subject to special directions in the order of transfer, proceed with the matter either de novo or from the stage it was so transferred.

Section 5. Geographical Indications Registry and offices thereof

(1) For the purpose of this Act, there shall be established a Registry which shall be known as the Geographical Indications Registry.1

(2) The head office of the Geographical Indications registry shall be at such place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, and for the purpose of facilitating the registrations of geographical indications, there may be established at such places as the Central Government may think fit branch offices of the Geographical Indications Registry.2

(3) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, define the territorial limits within which an office of the Geographical Indications Registry may exercise its functions.

(4) There shall be a seal of the Geographical Indications Registry.

1. G.I. Registry established vide S.O. 1152(E), dated 15th September, 2003, published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Pt. II, Section 3(ii), dated 15th September, 2003.

2. All India jurisdiction with Geographical Indications Registry with its head office at 434, Guna Complex, Teynampet, Annasalai, Chennai-600018 [vide S.O. 1052(E), dated 15th September, 2003].


Section 6. Register of Geographical Indications

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a record called the Register of Geographical Indications shall be kept at the head office of the Geographical Indications Registry, wherein shall be entered all registered geographical indications with the names, addresses and descriptions of the proprietors, the names, addresses and descriptions of authorised user and such other matters relating to registered geographical indications as may be prescribed and such registers may be maintained wholly or partly on computer.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), it shall be lawful for the Registrar to keep the records wholly or partly in computer floppies or diskettes or in any other electronic form, subject to such safeguards as may be prescribed.

(3) Where such register is maintained wholly or partly in computer floppies or diskettes or in any other electronic form under sub-section (1), any reference in this Act to any entry in the register shall be construed as the reference to the entry as maintained on computer floppies or diskettes or in the other electronic form, or the case may be.

(4) No notice of any trust, express or implied or constructive, shall be entered in the register and no such notice shall be receivable by the Registrar.

(5) Subject to the superintendence and direction of the Central Government, the register shall be keep under the control and management of the Registrar.

(6) There shall be kept at each branch office of the Geographical Indications Registry a copy of the register and such other documents mentioned in section 78 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct.

Section 7. Part A and Part B of the register

(1) The register referred to in section 6 shall be divided into two Parts called respectively Part A and Part B.

(2) The particulars relating to the registration of the geographical indications shall be incorporated and form part of Part A of the register in the prescribed manner.

(3) The particulars relating to the registration of the authorised users shall be incorporated and form part of Part Bof the register in the prescribed manner.

Section 8. Registration to be in respect of particular goods and area

(1) A geographical indication may be registered in respect of any or all of the goods, comprised in such class of goods as may be classified by the Registrar and in respect of a definite territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, as the case may be.

(2) The Registrar shall classify the goods under sub-section (1), as far as may be, in accordance with the International classification of goods for the purposes of registration of Geographical indications.

(3) The Registrar may publish in the prescribed manner an alphabetical index of classification of goods referred to in sub-section (2).

(4) Any question arising as to the class within which any goods fall or the definite area as referred to in sub-section (1) in respect of which the geographical indication is to be registered or where any goods are not specified in the alphabetical index of goods published under sub-section (3) shall be determined by the Registrar whose decision in the matter shall be final.

Section 9. Prohibition of registration of certain geographical indications

A geographical indication

(a) the use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion; or

(b) the use of which would be contrary to any law for the time being in force; or

(c) which comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter; or

(d) which comprises or contains any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of India; or

(e) which would otherwise be disentitled to protection in a court; or

(f) which are determined to be generic names or indications of goods and are, therefore, not or ceased to be protected in their country of origin, or which have fallen into disuse in that country; or

(g) which, although literally true as to the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate, but falsely represent to the persons that the goods originate in another territory, region or locality, as the case may be,

shall not be registered as a geographical indication.

Explanation 1. For the purposes of this section, "generic names or indications", in relation to goods, means the name of a goods which, although relates to the place or the region where the goods was originally produced or manufactured, has lost its original meaning and has become the common name of such goods and serves as a designation for or indication of the kind, nature, type or other property or characteristic of the goods.

Explanation 2. In determining whether the name has become generic, account shall be taken of all factors including the existing situation in the region or place in which the name originates and the area of consumption of the goods.

Section 10. Registration of homonymous geographical indications

Subject to the provisions of section 7, a homonymous geographical indication may be registered under this Act, if the Registrar is satisfied, after considering the practical conditions under which the homonymous indication in question shall be differentiated from other homonymous indication and the need to ensure equitable treatment of the producers of the goods concerned, that the consumers of such goods shall not be confused or misled in consequence of such registration.

Chapter III

Section 11. Application for registration

(1) Any association of persons or producers or any organisation or authority established by or under any law for the time being in force representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods, who are desirous of registering a geographical indication in relation to such goods shall apply in writing to the Registrar in such form and in such manner and accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed for the registration of the geographical indication.

(2) The application under sub-section (1) shall contain

(a) a statement as to how the geographical indication serves to designate the goods as originating from the concerned territory of the country or region or locality in the country, as the case may be, in respect of specific quality, reputation or other characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, with its inherent natural and human factors, and the production, processing or preparation of which takes place in such territory, region or locality, the case may be;

(b) the class of goods to which the geographical indication shall apply;

(c) the geographical map of the territory of the country or region or locality in the country in which the goods originate or are being manufactured;

(d) the particulars regarding the appearance of the geographical indication as to whether it is comprised of the words or figurative elements or both;

(e) a statement containing such particulars of the producers of the concerned goods, if any, proposed to be initially registered with the registration of the geographical indication as may be prescribed; and

(f) such other particulars as may be prescribed.

(3) A single application may be made for registration of a geographical indication for different classes of goods and fee payable therefor shall be in respect of each such class of goods.

(4) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be filed in the office of the Geographical Indications Registry within whose territorial limits, the territory of the country or the region or locality in the country to which the geographical indication relates is situated:

Provided that where such territory, region or locality, as the case may be is not situated in India, the application shall be filed in the office of the Geographical Indications Registry within whose territorial limit the place mentioned in the address for services in India as disclosed in the application, is situated.

(5) Every applications under sub-section (1) shall, be examined by the Registrar in such manner as may be prescribed.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Registrar may refuse the application or may accept it absolutely or subject to such amendments, modification, conditions or limitations, if any, as he thinks fit.

(7) In the case of refusal or conditional acceptance of application, the Registrar shall record in writing the grounds for such refusal or conditional acceptance and the materials used by him in arriving at his decision.