GI registration of Pakistani products: TDAP may be mandated to apply

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ISLAMABAD : The government is likely to mandate the Trade Development Authority (TDAP) to apply for Geographical Indication (GI) registration of Pakistani products in Pakistan and abroad official souurces told Business Recorder. Presently no public sector organisation has the mandate to apply and hold GI registration.Sources said that delay is damaging national interests as India has already initiated the process of registering Basmati as GI product. According to sources Commerce Ministry is requesting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to direct Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) and Law Division to fast-track GI law.Geographical Indication in relation to goods refers to an indication which identifies such goods as originating or manufactured or produced in a territory of a qualifying country or a region or a locality of a qualifying country where a given quality reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.Globally GI is given to products with a reputation attributable to its place of origin or the area where it is manufactured. GI is highlighted during the marketing of the product which fetches a higher value. GI is provided to products with a reputation attributable to its place of origin or the area of its manufacture.In 2007 India had asked Pakistan to expedite the process of filing joint applications for the registration of Geographical Indication of Basmati rice. Indian Commerce and Industry Minister wrote to Pakistan government seeking information on the basmati locations in order to register the GI application jointly.In May 2008 Punjab Minister Raja Riaz had stated that the provincial Commerce and Investment Department is running a project entitled Registration of Geographical Indications to ensure registration of specific products of Punjab as Geographical Indications that fulfil the criteria of being a GI as laid down in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) under World Trade Organisation (WTO).The project has identified certain products from Punjab for registration as GI namely Basmati Rice Punjab Heritage products including Phulkari Chiniot wood work Gujrat Pashmina Sharakpur Guava Multan Mango Sargodha Kinnows and other livestock breeds. It is unclear what progress has been made so far in this direction as India is actively pursing its case.

Courtesy : Business Recorder

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