ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Geographical Indications and Legal Framework in India

The TRIPS Agreement prescribes minimum standard of protection for geographical indications (GIs) and additional protection for wines and spirits. Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement, which grants higher status only to wines and spirits and excludes other goods and products out of its purview, has generated considerable resentment. This discrimination or imbalance in protection has led to demands for additional protection to other goods and products from a number of countries including India. The Indian judiciary has played a significant role, particularly in the absence of any enforced legislation, in protecting GIs. They have entertained petitions in cases of infringement of GIs that misleads the consumer as to the place of origin or constitutes unfair competition. India has also taken legislative measures by enacting the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 along with the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 which on implementation would go a long way to protect GIs and provide a model for other countries to follow. This paper seeks to examine the issues relating to TRIPS Agreement and the law and practice relating to protection of GIs in India.

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