Obviously India is the greatest supplier of tea, the most favourite hot drink, among the other tea resource in India, Darjeeling tea offers distinctive characteristics of quality and flavour, and also a global reputation for more than a century, the exceptional taste and distinctive aroma is only because of the geographical origin which Darjeeling is over 2000 meters above sea level in West Bengal and the processing.

It is puzzling when coming to know that the unauthorized use and registration of ‘Darjeeling and Darjeeling logo’ by Japanese companies already registered in Japan by the Tea Board of India.

A compulsory system of certifying the authenticity of exported Darjeeling tea was incorporated into the 1953 Tea Act is necessary. It is also possible only if all the dealers in Darjeeling tea to enter into a licence agreement with the Tea Board of India on payment of an annual licence fee. The agreement provides with the terms and conditions of inter alia in furnishing the information relating to the production and manufacture of Darjeeling tea and its sale, through auction or otherwise.

In order to provide legal protection in India the Tea Board of India registered the ‘Darjeeling logo’ and also the word ‘Darjeeling’ as certification trade marks (CTMs) under the (Indian) Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1999.

The customs authorities in India have been instructed by circular and at all customs checkpoints to check for the certificates of origin accompanying the Darjeeling tea consignments and not to allow the export of any tea as ‘Darjeeling’ without this certificate. This ensures the sale-chain integrity of Darjeeling tea until consignments leave the country.

The Tea Board of India has also applied for the registration of the words ‘Darjeeling’ and ‘Darjeeling logo’ under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (the Act) which came into force with effect from 15 September 2003, in addition to the CTMs mentioned above.

The loss of geographical indication is regarded as the loss of reputation of the country; the governments have to still work on preventing the geographical indications which will not allow further loss of any more reputation of the country and hopefully expecting the country not to face such cases in future.

Keywords: Darjeeling tea, Darjeeling logo, Geographical Indications, The Tea Board of India