Apeda gets powers to protect Basmati patent rights

September 18th, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) India Thursday decided to empower Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (Apeda) to protect patent rights for basmati, India’s super quality rice, among other similar rights. A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, approved the necessary amendment in existing laws to vest Apeda with statutory powers to deal with registration and protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs).

“With more statutory authority, Apeda can initiate the process for the registration of Basmati rice, etc., as a geographical indication (GI) under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

“Apeda can effectively protect the Geographical Indication in India and abroad,” said Dasmunshi.

Apeda, India’s official agency to monitor the export of Basmati rice and items like fruits and their products, issued 658 registration cum allocation certificates (RCAC) in July 2008 to the traders, enabling them to export basmati rice worth $251,996,967.

Intellectual property is a legal field that refers to creations of the mind such as musical, literary, and artistic works, inventions, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce, including copyrights.

As per the intellectual property law, the holder of one of such abstract properties has certain exclusive rights to the creative work, commercial symbol, or invention by which it is covered.

“The amendments will enable Apeda to take care of the rights identical to intellectual property rights (IPR) including geographical indications in the special product names in India and elsewhere,” Dasmunsi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

“The Cabinet has approved to amend Apeda Act to vest it with statutory authority for registration and protection of intellectual property rights in India and elsewhere,” said Dasmunsi.

At present, Basmati rice has been listed as special product for protection against IPRs. Once amended, Apeda will be able to fight cases abroad whenever any violation takes place.

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