Geographical Indication (GI) tag to ‘Mithila Makhana’: Basics Explained

The government has awarded geographical indication (GI) tag to ‘Mithila Makhana’, in a bid to help farmers get the maximum price for their produce. Interestingly, Mithila Makhana — which, as indicated by its name, is cultivated in the Mithila region of Bihar and some parts of Nepal — is the fifth product from Bihar which has received the GI tag. Mithila Makhana is also simply known as ‘makhan’. Its botanical name is ‘Euryale Ferox Salisb’ and it is a special variety of aquatic fox nut. It is said to be low in cholesterol, fat and sodium, and also an ideal weight-loss snack as it is low in calories.

 Prior to this, Bhagalpur’s Jardalu Mango, Katarni Dhaan (rice), Nawada’s Maghai Paan and Muzaffarpur’s Shahi Litchi have been recognised.


GI is a sign, tag that can be issued for agricultural, natural, or manufactured goods, products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation or other characteristics that are due to that origin. A GI registration gives the registered proprietor and authorized users the legal right to the exclusive use of the GI, and no unauthorized person can use the tag. Some of the examples of GI are Mysore Silk, Mysore Agarbathi, Kancheepuram Silk, Orissa Ikat, Channapatna Toys & Dolls, and Coimbatore Wet Grinder.

Products sold with the GI tag get premium pricing; It boosts exports; The poor farmers/artisans from the given region have to face less competition from fake guys selling bogus products. Right is enjoyed by a community/association of producers=community rightUnder WTO– Trade-related Intellectual property rights (TRIPS), the Member nations have to respect geographical indications.

A GI is different from Trade Mark. A Trademark generally refers to a “brand” or “logo be obtained for a business name, distinctive catch phrases, taglines, or captions. The product comes from a particular enterprise/company, Right enjoyed by only one person/company=individual right. Can be goods (mobile, PC etc) or service (, spa, etc.). a trademark can last forever, so long as the owner continues to use the mark in commerce to indicate the source of goods and services. Identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others

patent is a limited duration property right or instrument of monopoly relating to an invention, in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.  Patentable materials include machines, manufactured articles, industrial processes, and chemical compositions.A patent gave rights To Exclude Others from Practicing ones Invention; It Does Not Give The Right To Use ones Invention.

copyright protects works of authorship; songs, books, movies, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed in a physical form.


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