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Tirupati laddu, Nagpur orange to get protection from copycats

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Dec. 18

MATHURA peta, Nagpur orange, Kolhapuri footwear, Darjeeling tea, Kondapalli bommalu, Kancheepuram silk and Tirupati laddu could have legal protection from copycats, thanks to their geographical exclusivity.

Authorised producers can take such copycats to the court of law and seek relief. The World Trade Organisation, too, endorses the rights derived from Geographical Indications (GI).

"This will see to it that GI certified products will not go generic and rights of the locals are protected," said Mr V. Natarajan, Assistant Registrar of GI.

Addressing a workshop on protection of GI in India here on Saturday, he said the Registry, based out of Chennai, would soon allow online filing of applications seeking GI certification.

Incidentally, Pochampally art had been granted intellectual property rights under GI last week.

Though the GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act was passed in 1999, a physical body named GI Registry was formed only recently to ensure the implementation.

The Act aimed at helping consumers from misleading practices, while protecting the interests of the local communities that were known for a particular product, process and preparation. Infringement of GI rights attracted jail term up to three years plus fine.

So far, the Registry received 20 applications. The rights on GI that would last for 10 years after registration could be renewed for 10 more years.

Sharply different from trademark that varied from one business to another, GI recognises goods produced from a particular geographical location with certain exclusive characteristics.

The Act mandated the Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks as the Registrar of GIs.

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