A Geographical Indication (GI) label is a label used on products that have a defined and specific geographical origin and have the attributes or reputation attributed to that origin.The Geographical Indications for Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999 governs geographical indication protection and registration in India.


Legal protection ensures the exclusive rights of the manufacturer in a given area, prevents unauthorized use and allows legal action to prevent misuse, thus protecting the reputation of the product. 

Economic benefits include premium pricing due to perceived quality and authenticity, as well as market differentiation that makes products more attractive to discerning consumers.GI Tag provides a quality assurance which ensures that the origin of the product, traditional production methods and standardisation, preserving its unique characteristics are maintained.

Cultural conservation protects traditional knowledge and cultural heritage, promoting local culture and cultural tourism. 

Economic development promotes local employment and supports artisans and farmers by supporting rural development. Consumer awareness enables consumers to make informed choices, build trust and build brand loyalty through guaranteed authenticity.


Any legal person, producer, organisation, or authority acting on behalf of the makers of the products in issue may apply for a GI mark. The application must be filed in writing along with payment in a manner and form that is prescribed for the registration. The application must be filed with the Register of Geographical Indications under the jurisdiction of the area, region, or location to which the Geographical Indication pertains. If the location is not in India, it must be registered as a service address in India.

The registrar examines the application and ensures that it meets the requirements of the law. The registrar has the authority to approve or reject the application unconditionally or conditionally. If the application is denied or given conditional permission then the registrar must document the grounds for the decision. If the application is granted then it will be published in the Geographical Indications Journal asking the public opinion. If there are any problems in the application, they may be addressed and the application republished.

Anyone may object to the registration within three months (extendable by one month) after the date of notice. The applicant is required to respond to the advertising with a counterclaim within two months of receiving the notification.

Both parties may present evidence and the Clerk of Court will provide an opportunity for a hearing before deciding.

If no objections are presented or the argument is resolved in favor of the application, the Registrar will register the GI and permitted users and provide a certificate of registration. The applicant and permitted users are each awarded a registration certificate, which is sealed with the Register of Geographical Indications seal.

The registration is valid for 10 years and is renewed. An application for renewal must be submitted before the end of the registration term, if the necessary amount has been paid. The registrar will issue a renewal notification before to the deadline.


  1. Falsifying and falsely applying geographical indications (Section 38): If the the person falsely applied the geographical indication tag without the assent or ) falsifies any genuine geographical indication, whether by alteration, addition, effacement or otherwise.
  2. Falsely Applying a Geographical Indication (Section 39); Unauthorized use of a registered Geographical Indication on goods can be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees..
  3. Penalty For Selling Goods To Which False Geographical Indication Is Applied     (Section40) Any person who sells goods or things to which any false geographical indication is applied be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.
  4. Enhanced Penalty for Second or Subsequent Conviction (Section 41): Anyone who has convicted of an offence under section 39 or section 40 is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees
  5. Falsification of Entries in the Register (Section 44); Producing false entry in the Register of Geographical Indications, or submitting or presenting false evidence to the Registrar or the Appeals Committee, offender shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both


In conclusion, Geographical Indications (GI) provide essential legal protection, economic benefits, quality assurance, cultural preservation and consumer awareness, while promoting rural development and expanding global recognition of unique regional products.


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