Geographical Indication Tag: Definition and Meaning

A geographical indication (GI) is a label placed on products that have a certain geological origin, are distinctive because they can only be produced in a specific area, and have a guaranteed quality level. Numerous agricultural goods might benefit from a geographical indicator since they are impacted by unique regional geographical elements, such as soil and climate that can be traced back to their place of origin. The usage of GI, however, goes beyond just agricultural items; it also indicates a product's unique originality as a result of human features, such as distinct customs and manufacturing techniques unique to a given product in its country of origin. On the other hand, geographical indication tag is an identity that distincts it from other similar products produced or manufactured in some other geographic regions.

What is Geographical Indication (GI)?

The term "geographical indications" of goods refers to the part of industrial property that deals among a geographical indicator that identifies a nation or an exact location within it as the nation or location of origin of a certain good. Such a name often carries a guarantee of quality and individuality, which is mostly due to the fact that it originated in the specified geographical place, region, or nation.

Geographical Indications, sometimes known as GIs, are words or signs given to specific items that are connected with an area, town, or nation in specific. When a product has a geographic indication, it may be seen as a certification that it was made using traditional techniques, has a given set of features or has a certain notoriety due to its place of origin. For foods, beverages, agricultural goods, crafts, and industrial items, geographic indicators are frequently utilised. The well-known product name may only be used by individuals who have registered as authorised users, according to GI Tag. An indication that a product is made in a certain location is necessary for a sign to be considered a GI.

What is Geographical Indication Tag?

A geographical indication tag is a type of intellectual property that is used to identify a product, which is originating in a particular geographic region, and having certain qualities or characteristics that are essentially due to that place of origin. GI Tag, which is given to specific product through registration, is used to protect the product's reputation, and restrains all other people who are producing or manufacturing same products in some other geographic regions. For example, blue pottery decorative and molela clay items of Rajasthan; kandhamal haldi and bomkai saree of Odisha; banarasi silk and chunar glaze pottery of Uttar Pradesh; Darjeeling tea of West Bengal; chanderi saree of Madhya Pradesh; Kanchipuram silk of Tamil Nadu; Mysore sandalwood oil of Karnataka; Muga silk of Assam; paithani saree of Maharashtra and many more.

Historical Background of GI Tag in India

GI is regularly used with standard extraction, refining, and marketing for agricultural commodities, involving product branding. The GI tag, on the other hand, has issues with quality management, production, dissemination, and environment norms and allocation. The GI might be a geographical title, such as Payyanur Pavithra Ring, or it could be an unidentified location, like Punjab's Phulkari embroidery. In 1994, the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) contained a section on GI.

Why are GI Tags Important?

The value of a GI is dependent on the holders' rights to use the indicator for the purposes of maintaining the location's exclusivity and achieving quality standards. In accordance with the restrictions and criteria outlined in the registration, an applicant acquires a right over a sign that comprises GI. This includes the right to forbid third parties from using the same method that is required to fulfil the GI standard or producing items that do not meet the required quality level. For instance, a manufacturer of Salem Fabric may impose limitations on other manufacturers that don't follow the standards and guidelines established by the GI Act, whether they are located inside or beyond the confines of Salem (Tamil Nadu).

Registration of Geographical Indication

GI Tags, also known as geographic indication, are intellectual property rights that are provided to any product that originate from a certain geographic area and that possesses features that are distinctive to or respectable because of that area.

Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreement incorporates geographic indication as an intellectual property right.

Geographical indication obliges state participants to safeguard the identification and distinctiveness of goods coming from a certain region. In order to avoid the general public from being duped, it is also forbidden to use the identity for any other product that does not originate from that place.

Benefits of GI Tags

The following benefits result from the registration of a geographic indication:

  • The items are legally protected.

  • Prevents others from using GI tag items without authorization.

  • It enables customers to obtain high-quality goods with necessary features and legitimacy is guaranteed.

  • Increases the demand for GI tag products on both domestic and international markets, which aids in the economic success of manufacturers of those products.

The advantages of GI tags are accompanied by certain drawbacks as well. Recently, there have been more disagreements over the goods in question's country of origin. Because there isn't enough concrete historical proof, this grows worse.

Who can Authorize GI Tags in India?

The Registrar of Geographical Indications should be the Controller-General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks designated under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, or the Central Government may nominate such individual with the same designation to fulfil the Registrar's powers. Additionally, the register for recording registered geographical indicators includes the proprietors' names, addresses, and descriptions as well as approved users' names, addresses, and descriptions as well as other information (under Section 6 of the Act).

A GI will be able to register with Part A, and registered users will be able to register with Part B. The items may be fully or partially identified by the registrant, and the GI may be registered with respect to a certain nation, area, or locality. The right to publish an alphabetical index of product classes belongs to the registrar.


The GI tag has established itself as an important intangible asset having a lasting impact on consumers' views of product quality in respect to the nation, region, or location of origin. It provides advantages such legal protection for the product, preventing the product from being used illegally, providing a high-quality, standardized product, and increasing the product's economic stability on both domestic and foreign markets.

Additionally, the relevant body may either transfer ownership to states or none at all in the event of a disagreement over the location of origin. The GI tag must be issued following a comprehensive evaluation of historical and empirical data. A GI approval is intended to make sure that resources are completely utilised for the optimal use of services and goods in the production, marketing, and distribution of GI products. Such a Geographical Indication (GI) Tag enables increased worldwide market efficiency, competitiveness, and pride for the nation.


Q1. What rights does a Geographical Indication provides?

Ans. A geographical indicator right entitles individuals who have the right to use the indication to do so and to prevent third parties from using it if the product does not meet the appropriate criteria.

Q2. How does GI protection last?

Ans. Registrations for geographical indicators do not have a set length of validity. This would imply that until the registration is revoked, the protection for a registered geographical indicator would continue in effect. Geographical indicators recognised as certification and collective marks are typically protected for ten-year periods that are renewable.

Q3. How are GI Rights enforced?

Ans. These rights to geographical indications (GI) must be upheld by the application of applicable national law in a court of law, just like all other intellectual property rights. The public prosecutor, a competent authority, or any interested party—whether a natural person, a legal entity, or a private or public body—shall have the authority to take any action. The penalties that are offered may be civil, such as lawsuits for compensation, injunctions, orders preventing unlawful behaviour, criminal, or administrative.

Updated on: 05-May-2023


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