NGO Great Mission Group Society files application to attain GI tag for Gaumukh Gangajal
Jun 14, 2022
Geneva, Jun 14 (PTI) Great Mission Group Society (GMGS), a non-government organisation, has filed an application before the GI registry office in Chennai to attain Geographical Indications tag for Gaumukh Gangajal, with an aim to promote its unique properties across the globe. Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed. The other benefits of GI registration include legal protection to that item, prevention against unauthorised use by others, and promoting exports. Founder and Chairman of GMGS Ganesh Hingmire claimed that the scientific research has proved that the water of Gaumukh Gangajal is unique in terms of having medicinal properties, and presence of healthy living organisms. There are several scientific researches and studies which have proved the uniqueness of this water, he said. Hingmire, who is here to attend the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said that globally there are rivers, like Margaret and Hastings rivers of Australia, which are protected by GI tag. “We are announcing the information here because we want to tell the WTO that India always supports WTO and rule-based trade norms and GI law in India was enacted on the lines of WTO’s TRIPS agreement. There is also a need to market the importance of Gaumukh Gangajal at this large global platform,” he said. According to the Ooficial website of Intellectual Property India, the application was filed by this Maharashtra-based society on May 2, 2022 under the natural goods category. Hingmire said the world should know the importance of Gaumukh Gangajal and its unique properties and GI tagging will help provide international recognition to it. A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin. There is a proper process of registration of GI products which includes filing of application, preliminary scrutiny and examination, show cause notice, publication in the geographical indications journal, opposition to registration, and registration. Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can apply. The applicant must represent the interest of the producers. It is a legal right under which the GI holder can prohibit others from using the same name. The famous goods which carry this tag include Basmati rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Tea, Thanjavur Paintings, Allahabad Surkha, Farrukhabad Prints, Lucknow Zardozi and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving. Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, GI is covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs). They are also covered under the WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. India’s Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act 1999, has come into force with effect from September 15, 2003. While countries like China have granted this tag to over 7,500 items and Moldova has over 3,000, India has given this status to less then 500 items. PTI RR ANU ANU
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