The famous 'Hyderabadi Biryani' has failed to secure a GI (Geographical Indications) tag after its applicant could not prove the historical origin and data relating to this delectable dish with supporting documents, according to the GI registry in Chennai.
The Deccani Biryani Makers Association in Hyderabad had applied for the GI tag through its Secretary Zubai Ahmed in 2009.
The fabled rice delicacy, which derives its name from this pearl city, has been part of Hyderabadi cuisine for nearly 400 years. Coming from the kitchen of the Nizams, it is loved the world over by food connoisseurs for its distinct spices, taste and aroma.
The application (of Deccani Biryani Makers Association) for registration of 'Hyderabadi Biryani' in Geographical Indications is treated as abandoned "for want of prosecution", as they (applicant) have failed to prove the historical data and origin of the product with supporting documents, the officials at the GI registry in Chennai, held in its order issued on January 27 this year.
On April 28, 2009, that the association had filed an application before the assistant registrar of Geographical Indications, Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai for registration of ‘Hyderabadi Briyani’.
From the records available with the GI registry it found that there is a default in prosecution of the application within the time stipulated by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.
Hence, a show-cause hearing was fixed finally on January 23, 2017, granting an opportunity to the applicant to prove the details in the application.
Chinnaraja G Naidu, assistant registrar of Trade Marks & Geographical Indications Registry, said the registry had issued examination reports thrice over the past few years, with a direction to the applicant to produce the documentary evidence with respect to the historical data from the Gazetteer and proof of origin of the product (biryani).
"There was no reply from the applicant with regards to the examination reports. The applicant failed to turn up on the date of (many) hearings and there was no representation on the date of (these) hearings," Naidu told PTI over phone.
"The applicant failed to prove the historical origin of the product with supporting documents and failed to make use of the opportunities provided during the show cause hearing to prove the historical origin," the order said.
"Securing of GI tag and maintaining the status from infringement is not a one-day show; the role of the registered proprietor (after registration of GI application, the applicant is honoured with the term 'registered proprietor') is awarded with the responsibility of protecting the product as well as the producers.
“The non-appearance of the applicant even after providing repeated opportunities shows that the applicant is not willing to prosecute the application," it said.
"As per records of application and reply submitted by the applicant, it has come to notice that the applicant has not fulfilled the requirements for registration as per the Act in curing the fundamental deficiency. The applicant is in default in the prosecution of the instant application filed under the Act, and the said application for registration of 'Hyderabadi Biryani' in Geographical Indications is treated as abandoned for want of prosecution," the order said.
A geographical indication points to a specific place or region of production that determines the characteristic qualities of the product which originates from that place. It is important that the product derives its qualities and reputation from that place.
An appeal, if any, relating to the proceedings may be preferred to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, Chennai, within three months from the date of order, the applicant was informed.
Photograph: Umesh Tongbra/Wikimedia Commons.