9 November 2020TrademarksNV Saisunder and Vishaka Sivakumar

Rice wars: the dispute over Basmati GI

A geographical indication (GI) as a special IP right is granted to protect the unique qualities of a product that are specific to its geographical origin. Considering the commercial role and competitive advantage of GI tags, there are often disputes between two geographies, be it states or countries, and India and Pakistan are no exception. In the past, political tensions between India and Pakistan have spilled over in trade disputes, including an IP dispute on the Basmati GI tag.

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More on this story

13 October 2020   Pakistan plans to challenge India's claim for a geographical indication for Basmati rice in the EU, the latest source of conflict amid long-running tensions between the two countries.
27 November 2020   The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization has registered its first geographical indication, in the same week that the European Union Intellectual Property Office launched a new search database.
15 March 2021   India has filed applications for the registration of Basmati rice as a geographical indication in 19 jurisdictions amid criticism from Pakistan and Nepal, with protection already granted in the UK.