Sindh High Court to hear Basmati trademark issue

Karachi, Dec 28: The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) have appealed to the Sindh high Court against the decision to allow only Pakistan basmati growers to use the basmati trademark.

In an earlier decision of the Sindh High Court, a trademark registrar had permitted only the basmati growers to use the basmati trademark.

The hearing would start in January.

The Basmati Growers Association President Hamid Malhi said that negotiations with the Indian authority were going on. "There is difference between India and Pakistan on the definition of basmati rice. They don't have contiguous area of basmati and they don't produce much of it," he added.

Disputes between REAP and BGA started when Pakistan's Ministry of Commerce asked the stakeholders in rice trade to resolve the trademark registration issue to comply with the Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) regime of the World Trade Organisation.

REAP Chairman Abdul Rahim Janoo claimed that BGA was just a seven member association formed at home.

But BGA maintained that it had total membership of 1,400 growers. "We have provided a list of 1,150 members to the trademark registrar," Malhi said.

In India, the matter of rice certification was given to All India Rice Exporters Association but later on the demand of all stakeholders it was given to APEDA.

Copyright Asian News International/