Pakistan has approved geographical indication (GI) rules to protect its domestic products in the international market, it took the interval of 18 years to be notified.
On Monday, Pakistan notified and approved geographical indication (GI) rules. The country approved the rules in a hasty move after the country was caught unaware when India applied for an exclusive GI tag to Basmati rice in the European Union (EU) in September 2020.
At that time, the country had been facing the issues regarding registration of domestic products in the international market as local items were not protected through the GI law.
According to the approved rules, at least 79 products have been protected through the GI law, including Basmati Rice, Khanpur Khwa, Bahawalpur Chunri, Bhakkar Karna Oil, Khewra Pink Salt, Chitrali Embroidery, Hunza Apricot, Sukkur Dates etc.
The rules stated, “GI identifies agricultural, natural and manufactured goods originating, manufactured or produced in a territory, region or locality as determined by the country, where a given quality, reputation, characteristics, ingredients or components are essentially attributable to its geographical origin.”
It further added, “In the case of manufactured goods, the production, processing or preparation of the specified product takes place in a certain territory, region or locality.”
Moreover, the concerned division will have to establish a GI Registry under the management and control of IPO Pakistan in order to implement GI rules. Trademarks Registry and its branches established under the Trademarks Ordinance, 2001 (XIX of 2001) shall carry out functions of the GI Registry and its branches till a separate GI Registry is established.
The rules include the procedure of application, assessment, conformity of GI with a book of specification, opposition to the application, duration, renewal, removal and restoration of registration, infringement of GI, grant of certificate, prohibition on transfer etc.