A BOUNTEOUS ERRAND OF SUCCESSFULLY SECURING GI TAGS FOR FOUR PRODUCTS DURING NATIONAL LOCKDOWN May 26, 2020, India Sulagna Dutta, Calcutta by Sekar Reporter · May 26, 2020 A BOUNTEOUS ERRAND OF SUCCESSFULLY SECURING GI TAGS FOR FOUR PRODUCTS DURING NATIONAL LOCKDOWNMay 26, 2020, IndiaSulagna Dutta, CalcuttaThe unique art of Arumbavur wood carving along with Thanjavur Pith works, Puttapaka Telia Rumal and Kovilpatti kadalai mittai have been successfully granted the GI tags In Chennai during national lockdown owing to the pandemic of COVID-19. The Application for the same was filed by Mr. P. Sanjai Gandhi, advocate representing. The GI for the first two were sought in the name of the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (Poompuhar). The boundaries for Mr. Gandhi are not confined to the state of Tamil Nadu as the Puttapaka Telia Rumal from Telangana becomes the third product to receive a GI Tag during the national lockdown period in addition to the Tamil Nadu food delicacy of Kovilpatti kadalai mittai.A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation by virtue of their geographical association. The tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the geographical origin of the product. The owner of the GI tag has exclusive rights over the productAdvocate Mr. P. Sanjai Gandhi who was instrumental in securing the aforementioned GIs so as to sustain the uniqueness of the Tamil Nadu heritage said, “Thanjavur Netti Works (Thanjavur Pith Work) is made from pith. The pith is obtained from netti, a hydrophyte plant called as Aeschynomene aspera. The artisans are skilled in this particular craft and this art is traditionally transferred from their forefathers.”Pith is an herbaceous plant grown in water bodies. Artisans make/create many art products using pith. Pith was originally used in Thanjavur for making garlands out of slices beautifully cut into round shapes and then dyed with different colours. Different types of tools are used to engrave the pith. The tools used are purchased from local markets. Thanjavur pith work is famous for miniature works of Thanjavur temples and idol making. The finished pith work is generally fixed to a wooden base and covered with glass to protect from dust and moisture. This helps to preserve the works for years.Arumbavur Wood Carvings has proven highly skilled craftsmenship in making variety of Handmade Wooden statues ideal for home interiors(Deity statues, Pillars, Wall claddings), all kinds of office decors and Temple decors (Temple Car, Ratham, Vaahana, Main Door) and many more. The unique and distinctive Wood Carving shows various deities including Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva among other floral motifs and designs. This unique wood carving which traces its origin to the state of Tamil Nadu, has been given the statutory protection under Geographical Indication along with two other products.Telia Rumal is a unique handicraft originating in the village of Telangana that involve Ikat techniques and Geometric patterns as distinct elements of the same. These were in heavy demand in various countries like that of Singapore, Middle East and Persian Gulf and hence are commonly referred to as Asia Rumal. The GI tag for the same was very essential as export of this handicraft of Telangana demanded statutory protection and safeguard of interests in favour of its makers.“The process of securing a GI tag is not easy and includes a lot of documentation and research before an application can be forwarded to the Registrar subsequent to which each GI requires 1 to 3 years to get the tag granted!”, said the advocate and explorer advocate Mr. Gandhi, for whom even a national lockdown could not act as a standstill. Apart from having an enriched experience of legal practice at the Madras High Court, Mr. Gandhi has successfully nurtured his passion in the field of Intellectual Property Rights. He further adds, “Each product for which a GI is sought has to be unique and distinctive for the application to be successful and this has to be backed by intricate research and findings about the same.”Mr. Sanjai Gandhi has been behind 23 successful GI grants in the state of Tamil Nadu that includes Kancheepuram Silk Sarees, Thanjavur Paintings, Toda embroidery, Salem Silk, Arani Silk, Thanjavur Dolls, Eathomozy tall coconut, Pattamadai Pai, Nachiarkoil Kuthuvilakku, Thanjavur Veenai, Mahabalipuram Stone Sculpture and Thirubuvanam Silk Sarees, in addition to ‘Authorised User’ for Thanjavur Art Plate, Swamimalai Bronze Icons and Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil. He has also registered and received the GI mark for the Tangalia Shawl from Gujarat. This includes the four new GI tags obtained for Thanjavur netti works, Arumbacvur Wood carving ,Puttapaka Telia Rumal and Kovilpatti kadalai mittai on May, 2020.The Intellectual Property enthusiast Mr. Gandhi has also been one of the two advocates from India to have been selected by the Japan Patent Office to honour a training programme conducted by them. He believes that this opportunity has opened to him further opportunities and greater interest in the developing field of Intellectual Property Rights. He was honoured with the National IP Award in 20f18 under ‘Top Individual for Best facilitation of Registration of GI and Promotion of registered GI in India’ category.In 2011 he founded the Intellectual Property Attorney Association Body, and in 2015 he established the Sulakshana Panneer Selvam Intellectual Property Rights for Agriculture & Rural Development Centre. Mr. Sanjai has also authored a book titled Arts and Crafts of India: Registered GI Products mainly to help foreigners understand GI registered art and craft items in the Indian Context. He presently works with a team of five junior IP attorneys from Chennai towards securing and protecting the interests through the field of IP.“Obtaining a GI Tag is very different from the other forms of Intellectual Property Rights like trademarks or patents since the former is secured for a community and not an individual and thus requires greater precision”. Said Mr. Gandhi when asked about the procedure behind the legal mechanism. He further added that the process of exports for many products are facilitated when the GIs are successfully registered. He extends his hope that many other people will come forward towards protecting the unique wealth of heritage that India is holding in different parts of different states. This would encourage many communities and add to the economic value of the Country’s financial resources by making such products famous. He finishes by urging the upcoming legal fraternity that it is our responsibility to protect the same and we should come forward to do the same.Sulagna Dutta9A, Circular Road, Near SBIWEST BENGAL .