Two law firms shortlisted to fight Pakistan’s Basmati GI Tag case against India

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan is further expected to announce the finalized option’s name soon.

Basmati Rice. (iStock)

Pakistan has shortlisted two Brussels-based international law firms, Messrs Altius and Messrs Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, to fight the country’s Basmati Geographical Indication (GI) tag case in the European Union (EU).

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan is further expected to announce the finalized option’s name soon.

The government had decided to oppose India’s application demanding exclusive rights of claiming a GI tag to Basmati rice in the EU on the 22nd of September.

India had applied for the tag under Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and the European Union’s official registry, the Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Food Stuffs.

A GI tag is an authorization used on agricultural products with a specific geographical origin and possesses qualities or reputation due to that origin and intellectual property rights.

The tag helps boost sales and exports as the geographical limitation on production and official recognition of historical and cultural significance.

After a delay of almost 18 years, it is pertinent to mention that Pakistan had enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March this year.

Currently, India and Pakistan have 65% and 35% shares of Basmati in the world rice trade, respectively. Basmati rice fetches Pakistan around $800 million to $1 billion annually.

In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, both Pakistan and India had won the legal battle against Texas-based company, RiceTec, to patent Basmati rice in the United States. After losing the fight, the company named its rice brand Texmati.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Finally after the last 2 decades the Pakistani basmati rice which was going in black market to India and then they were exporting it by making tons of profit will be now stopped.

  • Since decades Pakistani Basmati Rice being branded as Indian Product. Pakistani rice exported to Middle Eastern states and packed and labelled as Indian origin product. This must be controlled and legalised as Pakistani origin commodity. This will benefit Pakistan industry and export and economy.

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