India has an official, searchable, Geographical Indication Register. The Register can be searched to ascertain whether or not the intended Geographical Indication has already been registered. In addition to searches of the Register, we conduct common law searches which include searches of the internet, trade directories and publications, and market surveys, to ascertain whether or not the Geographical Indication is being used by any third party. We report on the search results and provide you with our assessment of the position and any risk involved. Where the search indicates that the Geographical Indication is available for use, we advise that application for registration be made immediately. The official website for Geographical Indication of India.
FILING AND PROSECUTION OF GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION IN INDIA
A national Indian Application for registration of a Geographical Indication (GI) must be made in triplicate on Form GI – 1(A) for a single class and on GI – 1(C) for multiple classes. A Convention Application must be made in triplicate on Form GI – 1(B) for a single class and on GI – 1(D) for multiple classes.
The application is examined by the Registrar, who may refuse it, or accept it absolutely or subject to such amendments, modification, conditions or limitations, if any, as he thinks fit. When an application has been accepted, it is advertised in the Geographical Indication Journal. The application is then open to the public for a period of three months (or an extended period of not more than one month) for opposition purposes. If there is no opposition, it proceeds to registration. If there is an opposition, a copy of the notice of opposition must be served on the applicant. The applicant then has a non-extendible period of two months within which to file a counter-statement, failing which the application will be deemed abandoned. If the applicant files a counter-statement, the Registrar will serve a copy on the opponent. Any evidence upon which the opponent and the applicant wish to rely must be submitted in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed by the Registrar. The Registrar gives both the opportunity to be heard if they so desire. He then decides whether, and subject to what conditions or limitations, if any, the registration may be permitted.
REGISTRATION AND RENEWALS
The registration of a Geographical Indication is valid for a period of 10 years. An application for renewal may be made at any time not more than six months before the expiration of the last period of registration. It must be made on Form GI-4 or Form GI-3.
APPROPRIATE ACTION AGAINST MISUSE
It is important that prompt action is taken against any potential or real violation of a registered Geographical Indication. This could be done either by means of conducting an investigation, sending a cease and desist notice, filing an opposition or cancellation action, or initiating appropriate civil or criminal action, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case.
We provide a watch service, regularly monitoring the Geographical Indication Journal, the Trade Mark Journal and other relevant publications to identify any potentially conflicting applications or registrations. We recommend that owners of GIs make use of such a watch service to ensure that they receive timely notice of any potential infringements.