GI tag of Tirupathi laddoo challenged


A scientist R S Praveen Raj has filed a public interest litigation before the apex court challenging grant of intellectual property right protection to ‘Tirupati laddoo’ as it bars others from naming or marketing the sweetmeat preparation under the same name.

Raj, working with National Institute for Inter-disciplinary Science and Technology said that there was a danger involved in the ‘private appropriation’ of ‘religious symbols’ and ‘divine indicators.’  “I feel very much concerned about the potential devastation to the country that is likely to happen if private appropriation of religious symbols are allowed,” he stated, adding “Supreme Court may kindly proceed ‘suo motu’ in the matter in view of the larger public interest and greater social implications involved in it”.

The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), a trust that administers the Venkateswara Temple in the Tirumala hills, had been granted Geographical Indication (GI) by the Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry in March last year.

Under GI, the right to marketing a product is tied to a definite geographical territory and the manufactured goods should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory. Registering Tirupati Laddoo as ‘goods’ under the GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, has caused prejudice to Article 25 of the Constitution and violation of Section 9(d), Section 11 and Section 9(a) of the Act, he submitted.

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