International Protection of India's Geographical Indications with Special Reference to “Darjeeling” Tea
The protection of geographical indications (GIs) has, over the years, emerged as one of the most contentious intellectual property right issues in the realm of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, with its near-universal applicability and enforceability, did have the potential to ensure effective protection for all GIs. However, even with TRIPS in place, the current status of international protection for all GIs, except those designating wines and spirits, is far from adequate because TRIPS mandates a two-level system of protection for GIs: (i) a basic protection applicable to all GIs (under Article 22) and (ii) an additional protection for the GIs designating wines and spirits (under Article 23). India, along with other like-minded countries, has long since been fighting at the WTO for an extension of the ambit of Article 23 protection to cover all products. The present article deals with this controversial issue that has now reached a state of virtual stalemate.
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