Basmati trademark case to be heard by the Sindh High Court

The Sindh High Court (SHC) is scheduled to hear the case regarding the claim for the registered custodian of ‘basmati’ between Basmati Growers Association (BGA) and the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), on Wednesday.

The President of BGA, Hamid Malhi, said, “We have been contesting this case in the court since long, but the SHC will hear this case as fresh on Wednesday.” Though a judge of the court had finished hearing the case in 2012, a rehearing of the case was scheduled as the judge who heard the case earlier was promoted to the Supreme Court. He also said that as per law this promotion has resulted to start hearing the case as a fresh case.

He also said that since Basmati is 10 centuries old rice and growers have been cultivating it since the beginning, the ownership of the brand should be given to the growers, and not Reap which was only formed in the recent years.

The former chairman of Reap, Jawed Ali Ghori, says that the ‘basmati’ trademark should not be registered in the name of growers, but in the ownership of the Government of Pakistan and for that reason Reap was pursuing the case via the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

In addition to the above parties, The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of India is also a party in the case, which alleges that basmati is a trademark of India and it should not be issued to Pakistan. BGA has been fighting this case against APEDA at the Delhi High Court where it claims that India grows basmati only is lesser places than the 28 locations than it has claimed for. Malhi also claim that BGA has proof about it and the same will be produced before the court.

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