GI registration provides exclusivity to community of artisans or producers linked to the products or produces.

The future of products that have received Geographical Indications registrations was at the centre of a workshop in Kochi on Thursday, looking at the possibilities of market linkages, commercial exploitation of the GI registration status, brand building and prevention of infringement.

The workshop was organised by the Textiles Committee under the Union Ministry of Textiles and the office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and looked at the post-RI registration status of Maddhalam of Palakkad, brass broidered coconut shell crafts and screw pine crafts.

GI registration is a unique Intellectual Property Right accorded to a community of artisans or producers in a geographical area, who use inherited technology and practices over generations. Director, Ministry of Textiles, S. S. Das inaugurated the workshop. He told the audience, comprising artisans and NGOs coordinating development activities in these product areas, that GI registration provided an exclusivity to community of artisans or producers concerned with the products or produces.

He recalled how a group in the USA tried to win a patent for Basmati rice but India fought back and won its place in the Basmati market.

He said winning GI registration provided an opportunity for enhancing income, creating more employment and better conditions for artisans

Mr. Das said the European Union countries were very conscious about GI registration and pointed to the case of Scotch whisky, which was protected under the GI registration system.

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