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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



(1) A person shall be deemed to apply a geographical indication to goods who-

(a) Applies it to the goods themselves; or

(b) Applies it to any package in or with which the goods are sold, or exposed for sale, or had in possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture; or

(c) Places, encloses or annexes any goods which are sold, or exposed for sale, or had in possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture, in or with any package or other thing to which a geographical indication has been applied; or

(d) Uses a geographical indication in any manner reasonably likely to lead to the belief that the goods in connection with which it is used are designated or described by that geographical indication; or

(e) In relation to the goods uses a geographical indication in any sign, advertisement, invoice, cataloger, business letter, business paper, price list or other commercial documents and goods are delivered to a person in pursuance of a request or order made by reference to the geographical indication as so used.

(2) A geographical indication shall be deemed to be applied to goods whether it is woven in, impressed on, or otherwise worked into, or annexed or affixed to, the goods or to any package or other thing.



(1) A person shall be deemed to falsify a geographical indication who, either,-

(a) Without the assent of the authorized user of the geographical indication makes that geographical indication or deceptively similar geographical indication; or

(b) Falsifies any genuine geographical indication, whether by alteration, addition, effacement or otherwise.

(2) A person shall be deemed to falsely apply to goods a geographical indication who, without the assent of the authorized user of the geographical indication,-

(a) Applies such geographical indication or a deceptively similar geographical indication to goods or any package containing goods;

(b) Uses any package bearing a geographical indication which is identical with or deceptively similar to the geographical indication of such authorized user, for the purpose of packing, filling or wrapping therein any goods other than the genuine goods o the authorized user of the geographical indication.

(3) Any geographical indication falsified as mentioned in sub- section (1) or falsely applied as mentioned in sub-section (2), is in this Act referred to as a false geographical indication.

(4) In any prosecution for falsifying a geographical indication or falsely applying a geographical indication to goods, the burden of proving the assent of proprietor shall lie on the accused.



Any person who,-

(a) Falsifies any geographical indication; or

(b) Falsely applies to goods any geographical indication; or

(c) Makes, disposes of, or has in his possession, any die, block, machine, plate or other instrument for the purpose of falsifying or of being used for falsifying, a geographical indication; or

(d) Applies to any goods to which an indication of the country or place in which they were made or produced or the name and the address of the manufacturer or person for whom the goods are manufactured is required to be applied under section 71, a false indication of such country, place, name or address; or

(e) Tampers with, alters or effaces an indication of origin which has been applied to any goods to which it is required to be applied under section 71; or

(f) Causes any of the things above-mentioned in this section to be done, shall, unless he proves that he acted, without intent to defraud, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees:

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months or a fine of less than fifty thousand rupees.



Any person who sells, lets for hire or exposes for sale, or hires or has in his possession for sale, goods or things to which any false geographical indication is applied o which, being required under section 71 to have applied to them an indication of the country or place in which they were made or produced or the name and address of the manufacturer, or person for whom the goods are manufactured or without the indication so required, shall, unless he proves,-

(a) That, having taken all reasonable precautions against committing an offence against this section, he had at the time of commission of the alleged offence no reason to suspect the genuineness of the geographical indication or that any offence had been committed in respect of the goods; or

(b) That, on demand by or on behalf of the prosecutor, he gave all the information in his power with respect to the person from whom he obtained such goods or things; or

(c) That otherwise he had acted innocently, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees:

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months or a fine of less than fifty thousand rupees.



Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under section 39 or section 40 is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees:

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reason to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than one year or a fine of less than one lakh rupees:

Provided further that for the purposes of this section, no cognizance shall be taken of any conviction made before the commencement of this Act.



(1) No person shall make any representation-

(a) With respect to a geographical indication, not being a registered geographical indication, to the effect that it is a registered geographical indication; or

(b) To the effect that a registered geographical indication is registered in respect of any goods in respect of which it is not in fact registered; or

(c) To the effect that registration of a geographical indication gives an exclusive right to the use thereof in any circumstances in which having regard to limitation entered on the register, the registration does not in fact give that right.

(2) If any person contravenes any of the provisions of sub-section
(1), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

(3) For the purposes of this section the use in India in relation to a geographical indication of the words "registered geographical indication" or any other expression, symbol or sign like "R.G.I."
referring whether expressly or implicitly to registration , shall be deemed to import a reference to registration in the register, except-

(a) Where that word or other expression, symbol or sign is used in direct association with other words delineated in characters at least as large as those in which that word or other expression, symbol or sign is delineated and indicating that the reference to registration as a geographical indication under the law of a country outside India being a country under the law of which the registration referred to is in fact in force; or

(b) Where that other expression, symbol or sign is of itself such as to indicate that the reference is to such registration as is mentioned in clause (a); or

(c) Where that word is used in relation to a geographical indication registered under the law of a country outside India and in relation solely to goods to be exported to that country for use in that country.



If any person uses on his place of business, or on any document issued by him, or otherwise, words which would reasonably lead to the belief that his place of business is, or is officially connected with, the Geographical Indications Registry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.



makes, or causes to be made, a false entry in the register, or a writing falsely purporting to be a copy of an entry in the register, or produces or tenders or causes to be produced or tendered, in evidence any such writing, knowing the entry or writing to be false, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.



The provisions of sections 39, 40 and 41 shall in relation to a registered geographical indication or authorized user of such geographical indication, be subject to the rights created or recognized by this Act and no act or omission shall be deemed to be an offence under the aforesaid sections if,-

(a) The alleged offence relates to a registered geographical indication and the act or omission is permitted under this Act; and

(b) The alleged offence relates to a registered geographical indication and the act or omission is permitted under any other law for the time being in force.



(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 39 or section 40 or section 41 or is acquitted of an offence under section 39 or section 40 on proof that he acted without intend or defraud, or under section 40 on pro f of the matters specified in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) of that section, the court convicting or acquitting him may direct the forfeiture to Government of all goods and things by means of, or in relation to, which the offence has been committed, or but for such proof as aforesaid would have been committed.

(2) When a forfeiture is directed on a conviction and an appeal lies against the conviction, an appeal shall lie against the forfeiture also.

(3) When, a forfeiture is directed on acquittal and the goods or things to which the direction relates are of value exceeding fifty rupees, an appeal against the forfeiture may be preferred, within thirty days from the date of the direction, to the cour to which in appeal able cases appeal lie from sentences of the court which directed the forfeiture.

(4) When a forfeiture is directed on a conviction, the court, before whom the person is convicted, may order any forfeited articles to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court thinks fit. 47. Exemption of certain persons employed in ordinary course of business.-Where a person accused of an offence under section 39 proves,-

(a) That in the ordinary course of his business he is employed on behalf of other persons to apply geographical indications, or as the case may be, to make dies, blocks, machines, plates, or other instruments for making, or being used in making, geographical indications;

(b) That in the case which is the subject of the charge he was so employed, and was not interested in the goods or other thing by way of profit or commission depend on the sale of such goods;

(c) That, having taken all reasonable precautions against committing the offence charged, he had, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, no reason to suspect the genuineness of the geographical indication; and

(d) That, on demand made by or on behalf of the prosecutor, he gave all the information in his power with respect to the persons on whose behalf the geographical indication was applied, he shall be acquitted.



(1) Where the offence charged under section 39 or section 40
or section 41 is in relation to a registered geographical indication and the accused pleads that the registration of t e geographical indication is invalid, the following procedure shall be followed:-

(a) If the court is satisfied that such defence is prima facie tenable, it shall not proceed with the charge but shall adjourn the proceeding for three months from the date on which the plea of the accused is recorded to enable the accused to file an application before the Appellate Board under this Act, for the rectification of the register on the ground that the registration is invalid;

(b) If the accused proves to the court that he has made such application within the time so limited or within such further time as the court may for sufficient cause allow, the further proceedings in the prosecution shall stand stayed till the disposal f such application for rectification;

(c) If within a period of three months or within such extended time as may be allowed by the court the accused fails to apply to the
Appellate Board for rectification of the register, the court shall proceed with the case as if the registration were val .

(2) Where before the institution of a complaint of an offence referred to in sub-section (1), any application for the rectification of the register concerning the geographical indication in question on the ground of invalidity of the registration therefor has already been properly made to and is pending before the tribunal, the court shall stay the further proceedings in the prosecution pending the disposal of the application aforesaid and shall determine the charge against the accused in conformity with the result of the application for rectification in so far as the complainant relies upon the registration of his geographical indication.



(1) If the person committing an offence under this Act is a company, the company as well as every person in charge of, and responsible to, the company for the conduct of its business at the time of the commission of the offenc shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or that the commission of the offence is at attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against an punished accordingly.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section,-

(a) "Company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

(b) "Director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.



(1) No court shall take cognizance of an offence under section 42 or section 43 or section 44 except on complaint in writing made by the Registrar or any officer uthorized by him in writing:

Provided that in relation to clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section
42, a court shall take a cognizance of an offence on the basis of a certificate issued by the Registrar to the effect that a registered geographical indication has been represented as registered in respect of any goods in respect of which it is not in fact registered.

(2) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial
Magistrate of the first class shall try an offence under this Act.

(3) The offences under section 39 or section 40 or section 41 shall be cognizable.

(4) Any police officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police or equivalent, may, if he satisfied that any of the offences referred to in sub-section (3) has been, is being, or is likely to be, committed, search and seize without warrant t e goods, die, block, machine, plate, other instruments or things involved in committing the offence, wherever found, and all the articles so seized shall, as soon as practicable, be produced before the Judicial Magistrate of the first class or Metro polite n Magistrate, as the case may be:

Provided that the police officer, before making any search and seizure, shall obtain the opinion of the Registrar on the facts involved in the offence relating to geographical indication and shall abide by the opinion so obtained.

(5) Any person having an interest in any article seized under sub-section (4), may, within fifteen days of such seizure, make an application to the Judicial Magistrate of the first class or
Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, for such article be ng restored to him and the Magistrate, after hearing the application and the prosecution, shall make such order on the application as he may deem fit.



In any prosecution under this Act, the court may order such costs to be paid by the accused to the complainant, or by the complainant to the accused, as the court deemed reasonable having regard to all the circumstance s of the case and the conduct of the parties and the costs so awarded shall be recoverable as if they were a fine.



No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be commenced after the expiration of three years next after the commission of the offence charged or two years after the discovery thereof by the prosecutor, whichever expiation first happens.



An officer of the Government whose duty it is to take part in the enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter shall not be compelled in any court to say whence he got any information as to the commission of by offence against this Act.



If any person, being within India, abets the commission, without India, of any act which, if committed in India, would, under this Act, be an offence, he may be tried for such abetment in an place in India in which he may be found, and be punished therefor with the punishment to which he would be liable if he had himself committed in that place the act which he abetted.

Last updated on September, 2016

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