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Copyright, Trademark, Geographical Indication (GI), Differences

Copyright, Trademark & Geographical Indication (GI) are different types of Intellectual Property Rights.

  • Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary & artistic works.
  • Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture & films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps & technical drawings.
  • Copyrights in India are governed by “The Copyright Act, 1957”.


  • A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
  • Trademarks date back to ancient times when artisans used to put their signature or “mark” on their products.
  • Trademarks in India are governed by Trade Marks Act 1999 which was amended in 2010.

Geographical Indications

  • A GI tag is a legal recognition given primarily to an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts & industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
  • GI tag conveys an assurance of quality & distinctiveness of a product, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
  • Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods.
  • Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products.
  • It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.
  • Geographical Indicators in India are governed by “The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999”.

What is the difference between a Geographical Indication (GI) & a Trademark?

  • A trademark is a sign/word/phrase used by an entity to distinguish its goods & services from those of others.
  • A geographical indication tells consumers that a product is produced in a certain place & has certain characteristics that are due to that place of production.
  • A trademark gives the entity the right to prevent others from using the trademark.
  • On the other hand, GI may be used by all producers who make their products in the place designated by a geographical indication.

IPR: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Patent, Trademark, IPR: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)IPR: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

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