GI registration for ‘Payyannur Pavithra’ ring revoked

: The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) here has set aside the grant of Geographical Indication (GI) registration to the ‘Payyannur Pavithra’ ring in the name of a society.

The Board, comprising its Chairman Justice Prabha Sridevan and its vice-chairman S. Usha said: “The main object of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act is to protect those persons who are directly engaged in creating or making or manufacturing the goods. When these creators or makers complain that the application has been made behind their back, we cannot allow the registration to remain.”

Payyanur Pavithra Mothiram, a uniquely crafted ring, is made of gold and silver by the artisans in Payyannur, Kannur district, Kerala. The sacred ornament is believed to bring luck and grace to anyone who wears it with deep devotion.

In the making of the ring, one requires great expertise and dedication and the artisan is totally isolated for at least three days to make it.

Dismissing the objection filed by one K. Balakrishnan, the Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, granted its tag in 2009 to the significant ring in the name of society — Payyannur Pavitra Ring Artisans and Development Society, which claimed to be a registered association of the producers and traders of the ring. Against the order of the Registrar, Subhash Jewellery, Payyannur, represented by its proprietor C.V. Dayanandan, filed the present appeal before the IPAB.

He said the society was not a legal entity and its members were not even artisans, but were businessmen.

Setting aside the registration, the Board said, “A mere claim that the society is called Payyannur Pavithra Ring Artisans and Development Society will not suffice. There should be evidence to show that the producers are desirous of coming together to protect the mark and that is clearly absent.”

While removing the mark in the name of the society from the register, the Board sent it back to the GI Registrar and told to him decide the case after sending notice to all parties. He was directed to take a decision within six months.

The Board also directed the proprietor of Lakshmi Jewellery, who represented the society, to forthwith remove the words Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram from his showroom.

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