Bihar’s Shahi litchi has received the geographical indication tag, the director of the National Research Centre on Litchi confirmed to IANS . The fruit is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and its neighbouring districts of East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai.
The tag, awarded by the India Patent Office, allows a state or a geographical region to lay an exclusive claim over a product, gives an assurance of quality, and is often used as a reason to increase product rates. A few other products with a geographical indication tag are Darjeeling tea, Mahabaleshwar strawberry, Jaipur blue pottery, Banarasi sarees and Tirupati laddus.
A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
Significance of a GI tag:
Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.
Provisions in this regard:
GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.
At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
In India, Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it.