Geographical Indication

Basmati Developments- BGA appeal and impleading

imagesThe legal developments surrounding the conferring of GI status on Basmati goes years back. For a back story of the whole issue, Prashant’s post is available here. (A full list of all of our posts relating to Basmati is available here)

A quick recap to provide context for the current development:-  The litigation relating to Basmati was triggered off in 2009 when the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) applied for conferring GI tag on Basmati rice grown in Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. However, an objection to the application was filed by the Madhya Pradesh government on the grounds that its non-inclusion as a Basmati growing area would adversely affect the lives of  farmers who mainly depend on the cultivation and export of Basmati rice in the state. Consequently, the Registry for GI instructed APEDA to amend its application to include certain areas of Madhya Pradesh as Basmati growing areas. APEDA appealed this order of the Registry before the IPAB. Lahore based  Basmati Growers Association (BGA) also moved APEDA against the order of the Registry. On the other hand, various parties filed their oppositions to APEDA’s application before the IPAB such as the Department of farmer welfare and agriculture development of MP, Madhya Kshetra Basmati Growers’ Association Samiti based in Raisen district among others.

In an order late February, the IPAB has allowed the New Darpan Social Welfare Society, a Madhya Pradesh farmers’ society to implead itself in this litigation. APEDA objected to the same, on the grounds that there was no provision in the statute or in the IPAB procedural rules that permitted a third party to intervene in the proceedings. However, the IPAB stated that the New Darpan Social Welfare Society was a just and necessary party as it “is a welfare organisation fighting for the cause of farmers in Madhya Pradesh“. Hence, the impleading was allowed. Similarly, it has been reported that the IPAB has also allowed the appeal filed by Lahore based BGA against APEDA’s application.

We will keep you updated on further developments!

L. Gopika Murthy

Gopika is a fourth year student at National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She was formerly the Chief Editor of the Indian Journal of Law and Technology. Her first exposure to Intellectual property law and SpicyIP was through the University Moot Rounds at NLSIU, Bangalore in her first year. She has been regularly following the developments in the field of IPR since then and she hopes to contribute to the reporting of such developments. Her areas of interest in IP include copyrights, open access, fair dealing and trademarks.

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