The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on September 16, 2019 has released the Draft amendment to the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Rules, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘draft amendment rules’). The amendment proposes to further strengthen the Intellectual Property Ecosystem by reducing the fees to be paid for the GI registration process and easing the procedure for registration of an authorized user of the registered geographical indication.
The draft amendment rules were released for the information of the stakeholders and is available for suggestions and comments by stakeholders for a period of thirty days from the date on which the Official Gazette, containing the notification, were made available to the public.
Proposed Changes in the Draft Amendment Rules
- Only Proposed authorized user can file application- The draft amendment rules proposes to make changes to Rule 56(1) of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Rules, 2002. Rule 56(1) deals with application by a producer as an Authorized User of a registered geographical location. The proposed amendment requires only the proposed authorized user to file an application to Registrar. The law at present requires that such an application shall be made jointly by the registered proprietor and the proposed authorized user. The Statement of Case of how the proposed authorized user claims to be the producer of the registered geographical indication was required to be filed along with an affidavit but under the draft amendment rules the statement of case can be filed without an affidavit.
- Requirement of Letter of Consent under Section 56 proposed to be removed- According to the draft amendment rules, ‘the applicant shall also forward a copy of the application to the registered proprietor, and intimate the Registrar of due service of the same’ and the requirement for a copy of letter of consent under 56(2) has been removed.
- Rule 59(1) is also proposed to be changed by the draft amendment rules. For the registration of an authorized user entry in the register, where an opposition is filed and dismissed the registrar can enter the authorized user in Part B of the register and shall issue a registration certificate with the seal of Geographical Indication Registry. The current position is that the Registrar has to wait till the end of the appeal period after the opposition is dismissed to enter the authorized user in Part B of the register and the same was to be done with the prescribed fees but the draft amendment rules seek to remove the appeal period obligation along with removal of the fees that is charged currently.
- As per the draft amendment rules, Rule 59(3) will be amended and unmounted representation of the geographical indication will not be required at the time of registration.
- No fees for registration of an authorized user of a registered GI- In Schedule I, under Entry 3A, the fees to be paid for the registration of an authorized user of a registered geographical indication is proposed to be reduced from INR 500 (7 USD Approx.) to nil. Similarly, the fees for renewal under Entry 3C of Schedule I is proposed to be reduced from INR 1000 (14 USD Approx.) to nil. Entry 3B will be deleted from the Schedule I under the new draft amendment rules to cancel the fees charged for the issuance of certificates. Here is the Proposed changes to the fees structure for registration of an authorized user of a registered geographical indication:
|Activity||Current Fees||Proposed Fees||Reduction|
|Registration||INR 500 (7 USD Approx.)||Nil.||100%|
|Issuance of Registration Certificate||INR 100 (1.4 USD Approx.)||Nil.||100%|
|Renewal||INR 1000 (14 USD Approx.)||Nil.||100%|
Objections or suggestions may be addressed to Ms. Pooja Swaroop, Deputy Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi-110011 or by e-mail at email@example.com .