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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



No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act.



Every person appointed under this Act shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.



(1) Where in any suit for infringement of a geographical indication the defendant pleads that registration of the geographical indication relating to plaintiff is invalid, the court trying the suit (hereinafter referred to as the court), shall,-

(a) If any proceedings for rectification of the register to the geographical indication relating to plaintiff or defendant are pending before the Registrar or the Appellate Board, stay the suit pending the final disposal of such proceedings;

(b) If no such proceedings are pending and the court is satisfied that the plea regarding the invalidity of the registration of the geographical indication relating to plaintiff or defendant is prima facie tenable, raise an issue regarding the same and a journ the case for a period of three months from the date of the framing of the issue in order to enable the party concerned to apply to the Appellate Board for rectification of the register.

(2) If the party concerned proves to the court that he has made any such application as is referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1)
within the time specified therein or within such extended time as the court may for sufficient cause allow, the trial f the suit shall stand stayed until the final disposal of the rectification proceedings.

(3) If no such application as aforesaid has been made within the time so specified or within such extended time as the court may allow, the issue as to the validity of the registration of the geographical indication concerned shall be deemed to have been abandoned and the court shall proceed with the suit in regard to the other issues in the case.

(4) The final order made in any rectification proceedings referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be binding upon the parties and the court shall dispose of the suit conform ably to such order in so far as it relates to the issue as to the validity of the registration of the geographical indication.

(5) The stay of a suit for the infringement of a geographical indication under this section shall not preclude the court from making any interlocutory order (including any order granting an injunction, directing account to be kept, appointing a receiver r attaching any property), during the period of the stay of the suit.



(1) Where in a suit for infringement of a registered geographical indication the validity of the registration of the geographical indication relating to plaintiff is questioned by the defendant or where in any such suit the plaintiff questions the validity of the registration of the geographical indication relating to defendant, the issue as to the validity of the registration of the geographical indication concerned shall be determined only on an application for the rectification of the register and, notwithstanding anything contained in section 27, such application shall be made to the Appellate Board and not to the Registrar.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), where an application for rectification of the register is made to the Registrar under section 27, the Registrar may, if he thinks fit, refer the application at any stage of the proceedings to the Appellate Board.



Where a geographical indication has been applied to the goods on sale or in the contract for sale of any goods, the seller shall be deemed to warrant that the geographical indication is a genuine geographical indication and not falsely applied, unless the contrary is expressed in writing signed by or on behalf of the seller and delivered at the time of the sale of goods on contract to and accepted by the buyer.



In all proceedings under this Act before the Registrar,-

(a) The Registrar shall have all the powers of a civil court for the purposes of receiving evidence, administering oaths, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the discovery and production of documents and issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses;

(b) The Registrar may, subject to any rules made in this behalf under section 87, make such orders as to costs as he considers reasonable, and any such order shall be executable as a decree of a civil court;

(c) The Registrar may, on an application made in the prescribed manner, review his own decision.



Subject to the provisions of section 64, the Registrar shall not exercise any discretionary or other power vested in him by this Act or the rules made there under adversely to a person applying for the exercise of that power without (if so required by that person within the prescribed time) giving to the person an opportunity of being heard.



In any proceeding under this Act before the Registrar, evidence shall be given by affidavit:

Provided that the Registrar may, if he thinks fit, take oral evidence in lieu of, or in addition to, such evidence by affidavit.



If a person who is a party to a proceeding under this Act (not being a proceeding before the Appellate Board or a court) dies pending the proceeding, the Registrar may, on request, and on proof to his satisfaction of t e transmission of the interest of the deceased person, substitute in the proceeding his successor in interest in his place, or, if the Registrar is of opinion that the interest of the deceased person is sufficiently represented by the surviving parties, remit the proceeding to continue without the substitution of his successor in interest.



(1) If the Registrar is satisfied, on application made to him in the prescribed manner and accompanied by the prescribed fee, that there is sufficient cause for extending the time for doing any act (not being a time expressly provide in the Act), whether the time so specified has expired or not, he may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit to impose, extend the time and inform the parties accordingly.

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to require the Registrar to hear the parties before disposing of an application for extension of time, and no appeal shall lie from any order of the Registrar under this section.



Where, in the opinion of the Registrar, an applicant is in default in the prosecution of an application filed under this Act, the Registrar may, by notice require the applicant to remedy the default within a time specified and after giving him, if so, desired, an opportunity of being heard, treat the application as abandoned, unless the default is remedied within the time specified in the notice.



(1) No suit,-

(a) For the infringement of a registered geographical indication; or

(b) Relating to any right in a registered geographical indication; or

(c) For passing of arising out of the use by the defendant of any geographical indication which is indentical with or deceptively similar to the geographical indication relating to the plaintiff, whether registered or unregistered, shall be instituted in any court inferior to a district court having jurisdiction to try the suit.

(2)For the purpose of clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (1), a "district court having jurisdiction shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), or any other law for the time being in force, include a district court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, at the time of the institution of the suit or other proceeding, the person instituting the suit or proceeding, or, where there are more than one such persons any of them, actually and voluntarily sides or carries on business or personally works for gain.

Explanation
.-For the purposes of sub-section (2), "person includes the registered proprietor and the authorized user.



(1) The relief which a court may grant in any suit for infringement or for passing off referred to in section 66 includes injunction (subject to such terms, if any, as the court thinks fit) and at t e option of the plaintiff, either damages or account of profits, together with or without any order for the delivery-up of the infringing labels and indications for destruction or erasure.

(2) The order of injunction under sub-section (1) may include an ex parte injunction or any interlocutory order for any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) For discovery of documents;

(b) Preserving of infringing goods, documents or other evidence which are related to the subject-matter of the suit;

(c) Restraining the defendant from disposing of or dealing with his assets in a manner which may adversely affect plaintiffs ability to recover damages, costs or other pecuniary remedies which may be finally awarded to the plaintiff.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the court shall not grant relief by way of damages (other than nominal damages) on account of profits in any case-

(a) Where in a suit for infringement the defendant satisfies the court-

(i) That at the time he commenced to use the geographical indication complained of in the suit he was unaware and had no reasonable ground for believing that the geographical indication of the plaintiff was on the register; and

(ii) That when he became aware of the existence and nature of the plaintiffs right in the geographical indication, he forthwith ceased to use the geographical indication in relation to good in respect of which it was registered; or

(b) Where in a suit for passing off, the defendant satisfies the court-

(i) That at the time he commenced to use the geographical indication complained of in the suit he was unaware and had no reasonable ground for believing that the geographical indication relating to the plaintiff was in use; and

(ii) That when he became aware of the existence and nature of the geographical indication relating to the plaintiff he forthwith ceased to use the geographical indication complained of.



(1) In every proceeding under Chapter VI or under section 31, every authorized user of a geographical indication to which such proceeding relate, who is not himself an applicant in respect of an proceeding under that Chapter or section, shall be made a party to the proceeding.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, an authorized user so made a party to the proceeding shall not be liable for any costs unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceeding.



(1) A copy of any entry in the register or of any document referred to in sub-section (1) of section 78 purporting to be certified by the Registrar and sealed with the seal of t e Geographical Indications Registry shall be admitted in evidence in all courts and in all proceedings without further proof or production of the original.

(2) A certificate purporting to be under the hand of the Registrar as to any entry, matter or thing that he is authorized by this Act or the rules to make or do shall be prima facie evidence of the entry having having been done or not done. been made, and of the contents thereof, or f the matter or things



The Registrar or any officer of the Geographical Indications Registry shall not, in any legal proceedings to which he is not a party, be comparable to produce the register or any other document in his custody, the contents of which can be proved by the production of a certified copy issued under this Act or to appear as a witness to prove the matters therein recorded unless by order of the court made for special cause.



(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, require that goods of any class specified in the notification which are made or produced beyond the limits of India and imported into India, or, which are made or produced within the limits of India, shall, from such date as may be appointed by the notification not being less than three months from its issue, have applied to them an indication of the country or place in which hey were made or produced, or of the name and address of the manufacturer or the person for whom the goods were manufactured.

(2) The notification may specify the manner in which such indication shall be applied, that is to say, whether to goods themselves or in any other manner,and the times or occasions on which the presence of the indication shall be necessary, that is to say, whether on importation only, or also at the time of sale, whether by wholesale or retail or both.

(3) No notification under this section shall be issued, unless application is made for its issue by persons or associations substantially representing the interests of dealers in, or manufacturers, producers, or users of, the goods concerned, or unless the Central Government is otherwise convinced that it is necessary in the public interest to issue the notification, with or without such inquiry, as the Central Government may consider necessary.

(4) The provisions of section 23 of the General Clauses Act,1897. shall apply to the issue of a notification under this section as they apply to the making of a rule or bye-law the making of which is subject to the condition of previous publication.

(5) A notification under this section shall not apply to goods made or produced beyond the limits of India and imported into India, if in respect of those goods, the Commissioner of Customs is satisfied at the time of importation that they are intended for exportation whether after transshipment in or transit through India or otherwise.



If in any legal proceedings for rectification of the register before the Appellate Board a decision is on contest given in favour of the registered proprietor or, as the case may be, authorized user of the geographical indication on the issue as to the validity of the registration of the geographical indication or the authorized user, the Appellate Board may grant a certificate to that effect, and if such a certificate is granted, then, in any subsequent legal proceeding in w ich the said validity comes into question the said proprietor or the authorized user, as the case may be, on obtaining a final order or judgment in his favour affirming validity of the registration of the geographical indication or the authorized user, a the case may be, shall unless the said final order or judgment for sufficient reason directs otherwise, be entitled to his full cost charges and expenses as between legal practitioner and client.



(1) Where a person, by means of circulars, advertisements or otherwise, threatens a person with an action or proceeding for infringement of a geographical indication which is registered, or alleged by the firs -mentioned person to be registered, or with some other like proceeding, a person aggrieved may, whether the person making the threats is or is not the registered proprietor or the authorized user of the geographical indication, bring a suit against the f est-mentioned person and may obtain a declaration to the effect that the threats are unjustifiable, and an injunction against the continuance of the threats and may recover such damages (if any) as he has sustained, unless the first-mentioned person satisfies the court that the geographical indication is registered and that the acts in respect of which the proceedings were threatened, constitute, or, if done, would constitute, an infringement of the geographical indication.

(2) The last preceding sub-section does not apply if the registered proprietor of the geographical indication or an authorized user thereof with due diligence commences and prosecutes an action against the person threatened for infringement of the geographical indication.

(3) Nothing in this section shall render a legal practitioner or a registered geographical indications agent liable to an action under this section in respect of an act done by him in his professional capacity on behalf of a client.

(4) A suit under sub-section (1) shall not be instituted in any court inferior to a district court.



An address for service stated in an application or notice of opposition shall, for the purposes of the application or notice of opposition be deemed to be the address of the applicant or opponent, as the case may be, and all docents in relation to the application or notice of opposition may be served by leaving them at or sending them by post to the address for service of the applicant or opponent, as the case may be.



In any proceeding relating to a geographical indication, the tribunal shall admit evidence of the usages of the trade concerned and of any relevant geographical indication legitimately used by other persons.



Where, by or under this Act, any act, other than the making of an affidavit, is required to be done before the Registrar by any person, the act may, subject to the rules made in this behalf, be done instead of by that person himself, by a per on duly authorized in the prescribed manner, who is,-

(a) A legal practitioner, or

(b) A person registered in the prescribed manner as a geographical indications agent, or

(c) A person in the sole and regular employment of the principal.



There shall be kept under the directions and supervision of the Registrar,-

(a) An index of registered geographical indications,

(b) An index of geographical indications in respect of which applications for registration are pending,

(c) An index of the names of the proprietors of registered geographical indications, and

(d) An index of the names of authorized users.



(1) The following documents, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, be open to public inspection at the Geographical Indications Registry, namely:-

(a) The register and any document upon which any entry in the register is based;

(b) Every notice of opposition to the registration of a geographical indication, application for rectification before the Registrar, counter-statement thereto, and any affidavit or document filed by the parties in any proceedings before the Registrar;

(c) The indexes mentioned in section 77; and

(d) Such other documents as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify: Provided that where such register is maintained wholly or partly on computer, the inspection of such register under this section shall be made by inspecting the computer print out of the relevant entry in the register so maintained on computer.

(2) Any person may, on an application to the Registrar and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, obtain a certified copy of any entry in the register or any document referred to in sub-section (1).



The Central Government shall cause to be placed before both Houses of Parliament once a year a report respecting the execution by or under this Act.



(1) There shall be paid in respect of applications and registrations and other matters under this Act such fees and surcharge as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(2) Where a fee is payable in respect of the doing of an act by the
Registrar, the Registrar shall not do that act until the fee has been paid.

(3) Where a fee is payable in respect of the filing of a document at the Geographical Indications Registry, the document shall be deemed not to have been filed at the registry until the fee has been paid.



Nothing in Chapter VIII shall-

(a) Exempt any person from any suit or other proceeding which might, but for anything in that Chapter, be brought against him, or

(b) Be construed so as to render liable to any prosecution or punishment any servant of a master resident in India who in good faith acts in obedience to the instructions of such master, and, on demand made by or on behalf of the prosecutor, has given full information as to his master and as to the instructions which he has received from his master.



Notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908, no document declaring or purporting to declare any title of a person to a geographical indication other than a registered geographical indication shall be registered under that Act.



The provisions of this Act shall be binding on the Government.



(1) With a view to the fulfillment of a treaty, convention or arrangement with any country or a country which is a member of a group of countries or un on of countries or Inter-Governmental Organizations outside India which affords to citizens of India similar privileges as granted to its own citizens, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare such country or group of countries or union of countries or Inter-Governmental Organizations to be a convention country or convention countries for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Nothing contained in this Act or the Trade Marks Act, 1999 shall prevent a continued and similar use of geographical indication relating to a country or a country which is a member of a group of countries or union of countries or any Inter-Governmental Organizations, as the case may be, notified under sub-section (1) identifying wines or spirits in connection with goods by any citizen or domiciliary of such country who has used that geographical indication in continuous manner with regard to such goods or any goods relating to such goods, as the case may be, in any part of the territory of that country either-

(a) For at least ten years preceding the 15th day of April, 1994; or

(b) In good faith preceding the date referred to in clause (a).



Where any country or a country which is a member of a group of countries or union of countries or any Inter-Governmental Organization specified by the Central Government in this behalf by notification in the Official Gaze te does not accord to citizens of India the same rights in respect of the registration and protection of geographical indications as it accords to its own nationals, no nationals of such country or a country which is a member of a group of countries or u ion or countries or Inter-Governmental Organizations, as the case may be, shall be entitled-

(a) To apply for the registration of, or be registered as the proprietor of geographical indication;

(b) To apply for registration or be registered as an authorized user of a geographical indication.



(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as may appear to be necessary for removing the difficulty:

Provided
that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry of five years from the commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.



(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette and subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the fore going power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The matters to be included in the Register of Geographical Indications under sub-section (1), and the safeguards to be observed in the maintenance of such register in computer floppies or diskettes under sub-section (2) of section 6;

(b) The manner of incorporation of particulars relating to registration of geographical indications in Part A under sub-section (2) and the manner of incorporation of particulars relating to the registration of the authorized users under sub-section of section 7;

(c) The classification of goods and the manner of publication of the alphabetical index of classification of goods and the definite territory or locality or region for the purpose of registration of geographical indications under sub-section (1) of sec ion 8;

(d) The form in which and the manner in which an application for registration of a geographical indication may be made and the fees which may accompany the application under sub-section (1) and the particulars to be made in the statement of producers of good a who proposes to be initially registered with the registration under clause (f) of sub-section (2) of section 11;

(e) The manner of publication of advertisement of accepted application, for registration of geographical indications, etc., under sub-section (1), and the manner of notifying the corrections or amendments made in the application under sub-section (2) of section 13;

(f) The manner in which and the fee which may accompany an application and the manner of giving notice under sub-section (1) and the manner of sending counter statement under sub-section (2) and the manner of submission of evidence and the time there for under sub-section (4) of section 14;

(g) The form of certificate of registration under sub-section (2) and the manner of giving notice to the applicant under sub-section (3)of section 16;

(h) The manner of applying for registration as an authorized user under sub-section (1) and the manner of submitting statements and documents along with such application and the fee which may accompany such application under sub-section (2) of section 17.

(i) The manner of making application, the time within which such application is to be made and the fee payable with each application, under sub-section (3) and the time within which the Registrar shall send notice and the manner of such notice under sub-section (4) and the form in which and the fee which may accompany an application for renewal to be made under sub- section(5) of section 18;

(j) The manner of making applications under sub-sections (1) and (2), the manner of giving notice under sub-section (4) and the manner of service of notice of rectification under sub-section (5) of section 27;

(k) The manner of making an application for correction, etc., under section 28;

(l) The manner of making an application under sub-section (1), the manner of advertising an application under sub-section (1), the time and manner of notice by which an application may be opposed under sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 29;

(m) The manner of advertisement under sub-section (2) of section 30;

(n) The form of making an appeal, the manner of verification and the fee payable under sub-section (3) of section 31;

(o) The form in which an application for rectification shall be made, under sub-section (1) of section 34;

(p) The manner of making an application for review under clause(c) of section 60;

(q) The time within which an application is to be made to the Registrar for exercising his discretionary power under section 61;

(r) The manner of making an application and the fee payable there fore under sub-section (1) of section 64;

(s) The manner of authorizing any person to act and the manner of registration of a geographical indications agent under section 76;

(t) The fee and surcharge payable for applications and registrations and other matters under sub-section (1) of section 80;

(u) Any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.

(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or ore successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

Last updated on September, 2016

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