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Darjeeling tea-like protection sought for Gaumukh Gangajal at WTO

Geneva: A Pune-based organization has filed for a Geographical Indication (GI) for Gaumukh Gangajal, citing its unique characteristics.
Currently, Margaret and Hastings rivers in Australia, whose water is used by wineries, and the Rhine, whose water is used for Cologne, enjoy GI protection, like Darjeeling Tea, Tequila, or Champagne, the Great Mission Group Society has said. The entity has filed for GIs for several products in recent years.
Geographical Indications are used to identify products based on their place of origin which gives them unique characteristics and quality and help their use in trademarks or copyrights unless the product has become generic (like cheddar cheese). The protection is available to it globally under the WTO agreement on TRIPS.
If the proposal filed with the GI Registry in India goes through, Gangajal will only be among a few natural products in the country to enjoy the protection. Within GIs, there are three categories-agricultural (such as Kangra tea or Coorg orange), manufactured goods (Mysore silk or Kolhapuri chappals), or natural (Makrana marbles).
Great Mission Group Society's Ganesh Hingmire said the applicants have chosen to seek GI for Gaumukh Gangajal as the water is not contaminated at the source.

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