Benaras saris and brocades get exclusivity stamp

Patent regime


Latest merchandise to be protected under GI.

Registered under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, these saris will henceforth receive the same level of exclusivity that is accorded to Scotch whisky, Champagne or Tequila.

“The certificate would help genuine producers to legally counter increasing threats from saris produced in other regions and countries, but sold in India under the tag of Benaras sari,” said a UN agency.

“Geographical indications (GI) can also be commercially leveraged for enhancing incomes of weavers, while providing assurance of product quality to consumers,” added the statement by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment (Unctad).

This means that no sari or brocade made outside the six identified districts of Uttar Pradesh can be legally sold under the name of Benaras sari and brocade.

“The GI certificate has not only recognised the uniqueness and distinct identity of Benarasi saris, but also of related products such as silk brocades, dress material, bed and table covers manufactured in the traditional manner by weavers in six districts of Uttar Pradesh - Varanasi, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Jaunpur, Mirzapur and Sant Ravi Dass Nagar - Bhadohi,” the statement said.

GI is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) which identifies a good as originating in a certain region where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

This is the fifth product in India which has received GI certificate due to efforts of the Unctad. Similar initiatives under the project have helped weavers and artisans to receive GI certificates for Pipli applique work of Orissa, Lucknow chikan thread work, Uppada Jamdani saris of Andhra Pradesh and Cannanore home furnishings.

Currently over 40 items have been identified by the government for GI certification and protection which include spices of Kerala, Kolhapuri chappals, traditional pickles from Andhra Pradesh, Nagpur oranges, Kancheepuram silk saris and Darjeeling tea. With suitable marketing initiatives, the GI certificate can commercially benefit lakhs of weavers, traders and exporters of Banaras saris and brocades.

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