Well Harish Damodaran reports in the Hindu Business Line that the Indian Government has finally appointed leading IP firm K&S Partners as its legal representative in order to join the ongoing litigation in Malaysia. The government will be trying to argue that the ‘Ponni’ trademark should never have been granted in the first place. As Damodaran reports the matter has assumed significant importance in light of the fact that India has banned all non-basmati rice exports.
However there is still very little information as to whether or not the Government has proceeded with granting Ponni GI protection. Ideally speaking this is a fit case for granting GI protection since the rice in question has unique properties as a result of the locations that it is grown in. Hopefully India will be able to do a better job in protecting this brand than it did in the case of basmati rice.