A geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain food products that correspond to a specific geographical location or origin. Such geographic locations includes:
- A city/town: Darjeeling
- Region: Pisco, Malabar and Nilgiries
- Country: India, China and Arabia
An estimate states that the international market of medicinal plants-related trade at US $60 billion per year growing at about 7% annually. India has only 2.5% share of this market. Quantities features of certain goods have impact of geographical conditions prevailing within it. The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualifies, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin. Geographical indications do protect the interest of remote territories and augment the import and exports of the nation. Also portion inherited knowledge, indigenous architectural designs and knowledge about herbal medicines could preserve under this category. They protect and reward traditions while allowing evolution. They emphasize the relationships between human cultures and their local land and environment. They are not freely transferable from one owner to another. They can be maintained as long as the collective tradition is maintained.
The existing system of IPR does not protect the resources from exploitation by an individual Commercial interest in plant and animal species in industrializing countries and traditional knowledge and remedies has raised questions of ownership of such resources, previously assumed to be in public domains. Convention on Biological diversity recognizes the sovereign rights of the states over the genetic resource
Why should the traditional knowledge protected?
A recent survey showed that the motivation for patenting in decreasing order of importance is as follows:
- Protect our technology from imitation.
- Prevent competitors from patenting and application activities.
- Improve the technological image of one’s company or institution.
- Create a conducive climate for R&D cooperation.
- Generate licensing income.
- Improve inter-firm negotiations (cross licensing, joint ventures).
- Prevent patent infringement suits.
- Acquire venture capital.
Plant variety rights
Plant variety rights (PVR) protect newly bred varieties of plants. They enable the breeders of successful varieties to control their reproduction and by licensing to obtain substantial investments of time and resources needed to produce them. The rights are specifically adopted to needs of farmers and breeders but coexist easily with patent rights on genetic inventions. TRIPS provisions require member countries to protect plant varieties.