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GI tag for Tirupati laddu: Madras HC dismisses petition

Chennai, June 8 (PTI)

The Madras High Court on Tuesday held as 'not maintainable' a petition challenging granting of geographical indication (GI) tag to the Tirupati 'laddu' distributed as 'prasad' to pilgrims visiting the hill shrine.

Dismissing a petition, a Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice T S Sivagnanam, said it was, however, open to the petitioner to approach the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

The GI bars others from naming or marketing the sweetmeat preparation under the same name. The GI certificate for the Tirupati laddu was granted to the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam trust which administers the Venkateswara Temple by the Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry. The petition was filed by advocate J Mohan Raj. In its counter affidavit, the Devasthanam contended that even after registration the aggrieved person could approach the Registrar of GI or the specifically constituted Intellectual Property Appellate Board for removing the GI if it contravened GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act.

In its counter affidavit, the Assistant Registrar, GI, asserted that the registration had not endangered religious harmony or secular image of the country as alleged by the petitioner. The affidavit pointed out that only after being satisfied that the GI was not in conflict with the provisions of the Act it had accepted the application for registration of the laddu.


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