Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday stressed the need to take corrective steps to remove "great disparity" between the States concerning GI (Geographical Indications) tag registration.
He also emphasised the requirement of strengthening judicial infrastructure and increasing the number of judges in High Courts to deal with cases arising out of Intellectual Property Rights.
"Though certain states are performing well on GI registration, others are yet to catch up," he said, adding provisions for stronger enforcement and action against infringement are the need of the hour.
"Awareness campaigns, especially in rural areas, are required to be undertaken. There have been a few success stories like Darjeeling tea and Chanderi silk. These success stories need to be studied and replicated in other GIs as well," he said.
The CJI pointed out from Banarasi to Pochampally Sarees, from Darjeeling tea to Banaganapally mangoes, Tirupathi laddu to Dharwad Peda, Geographical Indications represent our tradition, heritage and territory. India has approximately 400 registered geographical indications.
He was speaking here at a national seminar on the adjudication of Intellectual Property Rights disputes in India.
Maintaining that IPR touched every aspect of our life, from the food we eat to the books and movies we enjoy to the appliances and tools we use, he said, India’s position as the Pharma hub of the globe is largely attributable to the existing IPR regime.
With regard to judicial setup to deal with issues related to IPR, Justice Ramana said the vesting of the IPR jurisdiction back in the High Court comes at a time when the judiciary is already overburdened with the backlog.
In order to meet challenges effectively, he said, not only do we have to fill the existing vacancies at the High Courts on an urgent basis, but there is also a need to increase the number of judges.
"Judicial infrastructure needs to be improved. Unfortunately, we are not even meeting the basic minimum standards in this area...Mere allocation of funds is not enough. The challenge is to put the available resources to optimum use. I have been pursuing the government for setting up of statutory authorities, both at the Centre and at the States. I hoping for a positive response soon," he said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present on the occasion.
Check out the latest videos from DH: