IPAB approves GI tag for Indian Basmati rice

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has directed the Assistant Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, to proceed with registration of Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice as per the geographical demarcation conducted by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda). This means seven north-Indian basmati rice producing states such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir will get the GI tag.

 What is a GI Tag??? 

  • A Geographical Indication tag could be issued for agricultural, natural or manufactured goods which has a given quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to its geographical origin.
  • A GI registration gives the registered proprietor and authorised users the legal right to the exclusive use of the GI, and no unauthorised person can use the tag.
  • Some examples of GI are Mysore Silk, Mysore Agarbathi, Kancheepuram Silk, Orissa Ikat, Channapatna Toys & Dolls, Coimbatore Wet Grinder, among others.
  • Products sold with the GI tag command premium pricing, and can also get protection from WTO.

Basmati rice has been one of the fastest growing export items from India in recent years. Apeda, as a statutory authority of the Government of India related to exports of agricultural products, applied for the GI tag for Basmati, a special long-grain aromatic rice grown and produced in a particular geographical region of the Indian sub-continent. Historically, Basmati rice was a product of the undivided India with a recorded history of over 200 years.

The IPAB has also dismissed an appeal filed by the Basmati Growers Association, Lahore,Pakistan against the order passed by the Assistant Registrar of GI Registry on the procedural grounds.

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