‘Geographical Indication registration imperative to protect traditional attires’

Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/5/2018 11:41:55 AM IST

Taking serious note of misuse of Naga traditional apparels and ornaments, department of science and technology conducted orientation programme for various units of tribal women organisations at the directorate here on Friday.

Scientist Dr Nesatalu Hiese of Nagaland Science & Technology Council’s (NASTEC) Patent Information Centre (PIC) here underlined the importance of protecting the Naga traditional attires and ornaments by getting registered with Geographical Indication (GI) whereby a name or sign was used on certain products that corresponded to a specific geographical location or origin.

Hiese said GI Act, 1999 was the first law providing legal protection to GI in India, making unauthorised use of GI by others an offence, adding “type”, “style”, “kind” would not be permitted once GI was registered and it would prevent marketing imitation products.

She explained that registering with GI would enable local populace to derive economic benefit out of their products as GI tag was a marketing tool and that traditional apparels would be legally protected from unauthorised use.

So far GIs had been obtained for Naga mircha owned by horticulture department, Naga tree tomato by agriculture department and recently Chakhesang Women Welfare society registered Chakhesang shawls under GI, she added.

Heise said use of GI could act as a certificate that the product possessed certain qualities, made according to traditional methods, or enjoyed a certain reputation due to its geographical origin.

She said each Naga tribe had a rich tradition, culture and attires and the apparels, being very fancy, tended to attract outsiders to misuse them by taking advantage of ignorance.

Explaining the procedure of filing GI application, the scientist said once outsiders got GI registered, it would be difficult to re-claim ownership.

She informed the participants that PIC was established in Nagaland to protect such cases. However, she regretted that many tribes had not registered, even as she assured all possible assistance to those groups who wish to get registered.

Technical assistant Gihukali Chishi spoke on intellectual property rights (IPR), perhaps the only right which can be simultaneously enjoyed in more than one country.

Chishi explained on patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, GIs, layout design of integrated circuits, plan variety protection and farmers’ rights and trade secret.


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