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THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999

Title : THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION) ACT, 1999

Year : 1999

ACT NO. 48 OF 1999.
[30th December, 1999.]


PRELIMINARY

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:-

(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 date as 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 commence of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

(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) "Authorized user" means the authorized 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 a 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 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 a 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 case 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 producers or any organization 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 a 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.



(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 superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such functions of the Registrar under this Act, as he may from time to time authorize them to discharge.



(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 a region or locality in that territory, as the case may be. the Registrar and in respect of a definite tier story of a country, or

(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.



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 dis-entitled 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.



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 he homonymous indication in question shall be differentiated from other homonymous indications and the need to ensure equitable treatment of the producers of the goods concerned, that the consumers of such goods registration. 




(1) Any association of persons or producers or any organization 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, as the case aye 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 elates 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 limits 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.



Where, after the acceptance of an application for registration of a geographical indication but before its registration, the Registrar is satisfied,-

(a) That the application has been accepted in error, or

(b) That in the circumstances of the case the geographical indication should not be registered or should be registered subject to conditions or limitations or to conditions additional to or different from the conditions or limitations subject to which the application has been accepted, the Registrar may, after hearing the applicant if he so desires, withdraw the acceptance and proceed as if the application had not been accepted.



(1) When an application for registration of a geographical indication has been accepted, whether absolutely or subject to conditions or limitations, the Registrar shall, as soon as may be after acceptance, cause the application as accepted together with the conditions or limitations, if any, subject to which it has been accepted, to be advertised in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) Where after advertisement of an application-

(a) An error in the application has been corrected; or

(b) The application has been permitted to be amended under section 15, the Registrar may, in his discretion cause the application to be advertised again or instead of causing the application to be advertised again, notify in the prescribed manner, the correction made in the application.

(1) Any person may, within three months from the date of advertisement or read advertisement of an application for registration or within such further period, not exceeding one month, in the aggregate, as the Registrar, on a placation made to him in such manner and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed allows, give notice in writing in the prescribed manner to the Registrar, of opposition to the registration.

(2) The Registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant for registration and, within two months from the receipt by the applicant of such copy of the notice of opposition, the applicant shall sent to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a c inter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application, and if he does not do so, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.

(3) If the applicant sends such counter-statement, the Registrar shall serve a copy thereof on the person giving notice of opposition.

(4) Any evidence upon which the opponent and the applicant may rely shall be submitted in such manner and within the such time as may be prescribed to the Registrar, and the Registrar shall give an opportunity to them to be heard, if they so desire.

(5) The Registrar shall, after hearing the parties, if so required, and considering the evidence, decide whether and subject to what conditions or limitations, if any, the registration is to be permitted, and may take into account a ground of objection w ether relied upon by the opponent or not.

(6) Where a person giving notice of opposition or an applicant sending a counter- statement after receipt of a copy of such notice neither resides nor carries on business in India, the Registrar may require him to give security for the costs of proceeding before him, and in default of such security being duly given, may treat the opposition or application, as the case may be, as abandoned.

(7) The Registrar may, on request, permit correction of any error in, or any amendment of, a notice of opposition or a counter statement on such terms as he thinks just.



The Registrar may, on such terms, as he thinks just, at any time, whether before or after acceptance of an application for registration under section 11, permit the correction of any error or in connection with the application  or permit an amendment of the application:

Provided that if an amendment is made to a single application referred to in sub- section (3) of section 11.involving division of such application into two or more applications, the date of making of the initial application shall be deemed to be the date of making of the divided applications so divided.



(1) Subject to the provisions of section 12, when an application for registration of a geographical indication has been accepted and either-

(a) The application has not been opposed and the time for notice of opposition has expired; or

(b) The application has been opposed and the opposition has been decided in favour of the applicant, the Registrar shall, unless the
Central Government otherwise directs,register the said geographical indication and the authorized users, if any, mentioned in the application and the geographical indication and the authorized users when registered shall e registered as of the date of the making of the said application and that date shall, subject to the provisions of section 84, be deemed to be the date of registration.

(2) On the registration of a geographical indication, the Registrar shall issue each to the applicant and the authorized users, if registered with the geographical indication, a certificate in such form as may be prescribed of the registration thereof,  sled with the seal of the Geographical Indications Registry.

(3) Where registration of a geographical indication is not completed within twelve months form the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the Registrar may, after giving notice to the applicant in the prescribed manner treat the application as abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified in that behalf in the notice.

(4) The Registrar may amend the register or a certificate of registration for the purpose of correcting a clerical error or an obvious mistake.



(1) Any person claiming to be the producer of the goods in respect of which a geographical indication has been registered under section 16 may apply in writing to the Registrar in the prescribed manner for registering him as an authorized user of such geographical indication.

(2) The application under sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by a statement and such documents of facts as may be prescribed and required by the Registrar to determine as to whether such person is the producer of the goods referred to in that sub-section and such fee as may be prescribed.

(3) The provisions of this Chapter relating to-

(a) The filing and examination of the application;

(b) The refusal and acceptance of registration;

(c) Withdrawal of acceptance of application;

(d) Advertisement of application;

(e) Opposition to registration;

(f) Correction or error in an amendment of the application; and

(g) Registration, shall apply in respect of the application and registration of authorized users referred to in sub-section (1) in the same manner as they apply for the application for registration and registration of the geographical indication.



(1) The registration of a geographical indication shall be for a period of ten years, but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(2) The registration of an authorized user shall be for a period of ten years or for the period till the date on which the registration of the geographical indication in respect of which the authorized user is registered expires, whichever is earlier.

(3) The Registrar shall, on application made in the prescribed manner, by the registered proprietor or by the authorized user and within the prescribed period and subject to the payment of the prescribed fee, renew the registration of the geographical in cation or authorized user, as the case may be, for a period of ten years from the date of expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration, as the case may be (which date is in this section referred to as the expiration of he last registration).

(4) At the prescribed time before the expiration of the last registration of a geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, the Registrar shall send notice in the prescribed manner to the registered proprietor or the authorized use , as the case may be, of the date of expiration and the conditions as to payment of fees and otherwise upon which a renewal of registration may be obtained, and, if at the expiration of time prescribed in that behalf those conditions have not been duly c mp lied with, the
Registrar may remove the geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, from the register:

Provided that the Registrar shall not remove the geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, from the register, if an application is made in the prescribed form and the prescribed fee and surcharge is paid within six months from t e expiration of the last registration of the geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, and shall renew the registration of geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, for a period of ten years under sub-section (3).

(5) Where a geographical indication or authorized user, as the case may be, has been removed from the register for non-payment of the prescribed fee, the Registrar shall, after six months and within one year from the expiration of the last registration o the geographical indication or the authorized user, as the case may be, on receipt of an application in the prescribed form and on payment of the prescribed fee, if satisfied that it is just so to do, restore the geographical and renew registration of the geographical indication or authorized user, as the case may be, either generally or subject to such condition or limitation as he thinks fit to impose, for a period of ten years fro indication or the authorize user, as the case may be, to the register the expiration of the last registration.



Where a geographical indication has been removed from the register for failure to pay the fee for renewal, it shall nevertheless, for the purpose of any application for the registrat on of another geographical indication during one year, next after the date of removal, be deemed to be a geographical indication already on the register, unless the tribunal is satisfied either-

(a) that there has been no bona fide trade use of the geographical indication which has been removed within the two years immediately preceding its removal; or

(b) that no deception or confusion would be likely to arise from the use of the geographical indication which is the subject of the application for registration by reason of any previous use of the geographical indication which has been removed.

Last updated on September, 2016

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