Silverwork GI registration shows increase in awareness of protection


In June this year the Geographical Indications Ministry in Chennai granted a registration for an intricate form of silverwork made in the Andhra Pradesh region of India under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999, which was enacted on September 15 2003.

The act was primarily implemented to provide for registration and protection of geographical indications (GIs) relating to goods including, among other things, agricultural (natural or manufactured) food stuffs originating from a specific locality on account of its agro-climatic conditions, type of soil and human factors. Examples of world famous Indian GIs include the following: Darjeeling Tea, Alphonso Mangoes and Basmati Rice. The number of GI applications filed at the registry continues to increase. Around 44 GIs have been registered so far and there are approximately 99 pending applications.

One of the most recent registrations dating from June this year was for silver filigree. The application was filed by Karimnagar Silver Filigree Handicrafts Mutually Aided Cooperative Welfare Society Limited. Karimnagar District in Andhra Pradesh is a traditional centre for silver filigree work where artisans have evolved a set of elaborate designs with lace like filigree. The craft requires great patience and skill and is unique to Karimnagar.

The registration is a further sign that producers and associations are increasingly coming together to protect their natural or manmade products through the GI Act.

Shruttee Sondhi, Anand And Anand Advocates, New Delhi

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