Tea Board plans Darjeeling protection

India

The Tea Board of India has applied in various jurisdictions to register (i) the word 'Darjeeling' as a certification trademark, and (ii) a logo comprising the word 'Darjeeling' and the representation of an Indian woman holding tea leaves. This constitutes the first step towards developing a system to protect the tea-growing region in West Bengal.

The registered trademark and logo will guarantee the origin, quality, composition and mode of manufacture of the region's tea and allow the board to pursue trademark infringement proceedings if either is used unlawfully.

The board's trademark/logo licensing scheme will function as follows:

  • The board will certify (ie, by way of a licence) only those who produce tea on authorized estates in West Bengal.

  • The licensees will have to satisfy the board that their tea meets the board's high standards. This may involve factory inspections and sample testing in accordance with the Tea Act 1953.

  • The manner of commercial use of the trademark and logo will be determined by the board.

  • Each licensee will have to display a licence number on all packaged items.

Ms V Neeraja, Anand & Anand, New Delhi

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