Registrar of Geographical Indications,
Government of India has accorded a GI tag to ‘Sirsi Supari’. It is an arecanut
cultivated in Yellapura, Siddapura and Sirsi taluks of Karnataka. The Totagars’
Cooperative Sale Society (TSS) Ltd, a Sirsi-based agri-cooperative, is the
registered proprietor of the GI ‘Sirsi Supari’.
Recently, Erode turmeric (Tamil Nadu) and
Marayur jaggery (Kerala) have also received GI tags.
Geographical Indications (GI) is an intellectual
property right (IPR). GI is a status accorded to a good which is unique to a
particular region or area, and is originated from there.
In India, the Geographical Indications of Goods
(Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, along with the Geographical
Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002 govern GI registrations
and goods. These laws were introduced after the ratification of the Agreement
on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Good in the categories of a) Agricultural
products (e.g. Nagpur Orange), b) foodstuffs (e.g. Joynagar Moa), c)
handicrafts (e.g. Agates of Cambay), d) textile (e.g. Kullu Shawl), e) natural
products (e.g. Makrana Marble) and f) manufactured products (e.g. Kannauj
Perfume) come under the ambit of GI Tags. Darjeeling Tea is the first good to
receive a GI Tag in India.
The ‘Controller-General of Patents, Designs and
Trade Marks’ appointed under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is the Registrar of
Geographical Indications. It
directs and supervises the functioning of the Geographical Indications Registry
(GIR). GIR facilitates the registration of GIs.