Sri Lanka registers Ceylon tea intellectual property claim

Dec 22, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has registered a claim locally for intellectual property protection for Ceylon tea under global ‘Geographical Indicators’ rules that would help market its main export product, a senior official said. That allowed the country to market Ceylon tea worldwide as an environmentally friendly and ozone friendly product. The government has also registered the logo for ozone friendly pure Ceylon tea to certify its tea is grown without use of any ozone depletion substances, Tea Board director – promotions Hasitha De Alwis said.

“We have to register the GI claim and ozone logo locally with the National Intellectual Property Office before we register them overseas,” he told LBO in an interview.

The government also plans to locally register the island’s seven tea growing regions under GI indicators in January, De Alwis said.

Sri Lanka has for years been seeking GI protection under the World Trade Organisation intellectual property rights rules known as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

The industry is keen on getting the GI recognition as it could be used as a marketing tool, like French wines which were among the first products to be registered under the WTO r