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Himachal’s Kinnaur weavers to benefit from trademark

Shimla, Oct 20 (IANS) With the Kinnauri shawls receiving the prestigious Geographical Indications (GI) tag, over 1,000 weavers involved in the creation of the iconic shawls stand to gain the most.

‘The registration will now check unauthorised production and misuse of its name. Only weavers registered with the Kinnaur Handloom Weavers Association (of Kalpa) can sell the shawls under this brand name,’ Nagin Nanda, member secretary of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, told IANS.

The GI tag, under which products are the registered under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999, are community patents which benefit the group of artisans, producers and other stakeholders manufacturing a product identified with a particular area.

The shawls, with intricate borders in bright colours, are made on traditional looms by tribals of Kinnaur and are sold all over India and abroad.

It is the fourth product of the state that has been registered under the GI Act by the patent information centre, a wing of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment.

The other three are Chamba rumal (handkerchief), Kullu shawl and Kangra tea.

Nanda said the registration under the GI Act would help the weavers to market their product easily.

‘This will boost the sale of Kinnauri shawls as GI label, which is a proof of the authenticity of the product, will give the product genuineness,’ he added.

Under the GI Act, infringement of the registered geographical indication by producers other than those from the region of origin of these products can result in a maximum imprisonment of three years and a fine up to Rs.2 lakh.

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