Basmati rice is exclusively grown in Indian sub-continent and
India is the largest exporter of Basmati in the world. In the past,
the Indian government was involved in a bitter patent war with the
U.S.PTO over the grant of patent on Basmati rice to a U.S. Company
–RiceTec. While the Indian government succeeded in getting
the patents covering Indian Basmati revoked, it could not prevent
the U.S. Company from using the trademark 'Texmati' which
is deceptively similar to 'Basmati'. The Indian public has
learnt a lesson from this past experience and therefore, an attempt
was made by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export
Development Authority ('APEDA') to protect Basmati rice as
a Geographical Indication (GI) for the regions where it is being
grown in India.
This attempt of the APEDA was met with stiff opposition from the
State of Madhya Pradesh and the Basmati Growers Association,
Pakistan. The State of Madhya Pradesh filed an opposition on the
grounds that the Application for Basmati as a GI had excluded 13
territories of Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) where Basmati rice is grown.
It was claimed that this exclusion would hamper the interests of
the farmers of these regions. The IPAB took into consideration this
plea of the State of M.P and stated that APEDA's application
would be reconsidered with the view of inclusion of regions of M.P
among regions enjoying protection under GI Act.
The application of Basmati Growers Association, Pakistan (BGA)
stated that Basmati rice was grown in both India and Pakistan. It
is pertinent to mention that Basmati Growers Association suffered
an order of rejection from the Registrar of Trade Marks, Pakistan
to register BASMATI as a collective mark. The IPAB Bench dismissed
the appeal filed by BGA as there was no justification for them to
intervene and interfere in the proceedings initiated by APEDA in
respect of getting GI Tag for BASMATI rice covering the areas
within the territory of India. Furthermore, the Bench was of the
opinion that no steps were taken by BGA to substantiate their claim
in respect of BASMATI in their own country, Pakistan. Accordingly,
APEDA's application was allowed and the appeals by the
oppositions were dismissed.
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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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