SpicyIP Tidbits: E-book on Evolving Contours of GIs

There is growing awareness in India of geographical indications as a separate form of intellectual property, even if there is constant mis-reporting of GIs as patents, trademarks, etc., which we will continue to berate here until there is actual clarity on the differences!

Meanwhile, to help understand the international policy background in which GIs have emerged, and its application in various parts of the world, the Institute of Intellectual Property Studies (IIPS) and the MVIRDC World Trade Centre have brought out a new publication on “Geographical Indications: Its Evolving Contours” (download here) as a monograph in the WTO Study Series.

The e-book was written by Dr Prabuddha Ganguli, a highly respected IP expert, who has held key advisory positions in India and abroad, besides having a wealth of industry, IP and policy experience.

As the foreword to the paper informs us: A number of International Conventions, including The Paris Convention, The Madrid Agreement, The Lisbon Agreement and TRIPs have addressed the issue of GIs. This study presents an overview of the interpretations and evolution of the concept of GIs in the context of the various International Conventions. It also critically examines the system and practice of GI protection in various countries, citing interesting cases.

The GI approaches in the Indian system is analyzed with reference to case studies in several Indian products, including tea, textiles, carpets, handicrafts, horticultural products, soap and essential oil, paintings, etc. The study also presents highlights of important GI disputes in the international arena for better appreciation of the specific interests of the concerned parties and the economic impact in the wake of such disputes. The study also discusses the present debate at the WTO in the context of extending higher levels of protection beyond wines and spirits.

Just to jog your memory, the Institute of Intellectual Property Studies (IIPS) is one of the most reputed and perhaps oldest IP training institutes from India, which has recently begun its latest edition of programs in IP, which was blogged about here.


  1. AvatarKai

    The e-book does not seem to have examples of Indian GIs, does it? I’d be interested to know the Indian GI system and how many GIs are registered or protected.

  2. AvatarSumathi Chandrashekaran

    #Kai: The e-book lists application details of GIs in India from 2003 to 2008. It also has a few case studies of GI applications in India, page 55 onwards. For detailed information on the status of GIs in India, it is worthwhile to keep track of the Journals that are published periodically by the GI Registry, which are available here: http://ipindia.nic.in/girindia/. I hope this helps!


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