Chennai Based IP Lawyer AUTHOR: P.Sanjai Gandhi DIVYA VATTIKUTI, Student, DSNLU. Ponnur, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.

TELIA RUMAL gets GI tag-
CHENNAI based IP lawyer behind this.
In May 2020, PUTTAPAKA TELIA RUMAL secured the coveted Geographical Indication tag and now Puttapaka in Nalgonda is on the global map as the centre for a handloom technique known as Puttapaka Telia Rumal. It secured the coveted Geographical Indication tag recently.
Puttapaka Telia Rumal cloth involves a number of intricate work with pure cotton loom displaying a variety of design and motifs representing flowers, leaves and moon designs; in 3 particular colours only, namely, Red, Black and White. These designs are hand woven. The process of preparation uses gingelly oil and natural vegetable dye which gives it a distinct and unique quality in the form of its texture and smell. The dyes used are Vegetable Dyes, Naphthol Dyes and Vat Dyes and Reactive Dyes.
Gajam Govardhana, Nalgonda-based weaver known for his mastery over the art of Ikkat dyeing of Telia Rumal tradition and a Padma Shri awardee is a part of The consortium of Puttapaka handloom cluster. The consortium had appointed Lawyer P. Sanjai Gandhi who filed an application for GI tag in 2017. ‘Puttapaka Telia Rumal’ has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag recently by the Geographical Indications registry headquartered in Chennai.

The man who is responsible for placing Puttapaka Telia Rumal on the global map is Mr.P. Sanjai Gandhi. He is an advocate at the Madras High Court and Intellectual Property attorney who started IPR Attorney Association in Chennai. He is dedicated to providing education and guidance to law students pan India, have mentored more than 500 National law students via Intellectual Property Rights Attorney Association.
In 2017, Mr. Gandhi filed application for granting GI tag to Puttapaka Telia Rumal, on behalf of the organization The Consortium of Puttapaka Handloom Cluster – IHDS. After filing the application, the GI Registry sent the Formality Check Report to which Mr. Gandhi sent a comprehensive and prompt reply. Mr. Gandhi then appeared before a seven-member expert committee in a Consultative Group meeting in Chennai, and skillfully argued in a favour of granting the GI tag. After this, an Examination Report was sent for which he again delivered a well-suited reply. After successfully fulfilling these legal requirements and following up with the GI Registry, the GI Registry published its journal on 10th January, 2020. On 10th May, 2020, after a period of 4 months, the GI Registry issued GI Certificate for both this unique product. Therefore, the GI registration of this product was successful due to the efforts of Mr. Gandhi.
To spread awareness about IPRs, Mr. Gandhi has penned a book titled “Intellectual Property” in Tamil. And He has written a book in English titled “Arts and Crafts of India: Registered GI Products”.
Having been able to obtain GI for more than 23 products of Tamilnadu and other states including Gujarat and Telangana as well, Mr. Gandhi fondly says that, “We must absolutely protect what is ours. In a country blessed with such unique products, we must ensure that certain qualities and characteristics unique to a place must not be forgotten or usurped by outside vested interest.”
Of the 35 items conferred with the GI tag in Tamil Nadu, Sanjai Gandhi has led efforts for more than 20 including Kancheepuram silk sarees, Thanjavur paintings , Toda embroidery , Salem silk, Arani silk, Thanjavur dolls, Eathomozhy tall coconut , Tangaliya shawl , Pattamadai pai , Nachiarkoil kuthuvilakku, Thanjavur veenai, Bhavani jamakalam, Kovai Kora cotton, Madurai Sungudi saree , Mahabalipuram stone sculpture, Thirubhuvanam silk sarees , Srivilliputhur paalkova , Kovilpatti kadalaimittai , Karaikudi Kandangi sarees , Dindigul lock , Thanjavur pith work , Arumbavur wood carving . He is also responsible for certifying Authorised usership to many Socities for Thanjavur Art Plate, Swamimalai Bronze Icons, Nagercoil Temple Jewellery.
He was winner of the National IP Award by the Government of India last year under the ‘Top Individual for Best facilitation of Registration of GI and Promotion of registered GI in India’ category. He was among the two IP attorneys from India selected by the Japan Patent Office for their more than 2 week training programme in Tokyo in 2007. This was a turning point in his life and furthered his journey in this practice. He also represented India in Japan Institute of Promoting Invention and Innovation, Japan Patent Office, October 2013. He addressed Global Invest Meet 2019 that was held in Chennai.
To spread awareness about IPRs, our President has penned a book titled “Intellectual Property” in Tamil. And He has written a book in English titled “Arts and Crafts of India: Registered GI Products” which is the first book on GI registration and collective GI information . He also wrote an article on “Growth of Geographical Indications of Goods in India” published in IP Friends – Connections, Japan Patent Office, December 2012.
Uniqueness of Telia Rumal:(as per GI application)
Telia Rumals are eminent throughout the world for its elegant design and pattems and for its natural dyeing methods. A classical 19s or early 20s century Telia Rumal is a square cotton cloth dyed in a harmonious colour scheme of deeply saturated red and brownish black with a creamy white background a shade which is the result of the pre-treatment of the cotton yam. In fact, the name Telia Rumal oil refers to the oily touch of the cloth. Later pieces, especially those made after independence have a rather harsh colour scheme of synthetic red, purple or violet and black.
The history of Telia Rumal is very vast. It has been in existence since time immemorial, and it is only because of the efforts of some famous designers and some hard working artisans that Telia Rumal is getting international acclaim. Its importance as an art form can be understood from the fact that an Australian University has introduced a course on it. The technique has also been the subject of certain motion pictures in India which serve to highlight the intricate technique employed by the skilled artisans and the troubles they face in procuring the required natural products in today’s fast paced world.
The special characteristics of Telia Rumal designs are only woven and there will be no prints on the handloom materials. The traditional vegetable dyes used in the production of Telia Rumal have huge number of medicinal benefits. Unlike chemical dyes vegetable dyes do not contain carcinogen. After each wash the vegetable dye enables the fabric to retain its colour and not fade. In fact, Telia Rumal becomes brighter after each wash because of the presence of oil in it.
The Telia Rumal includes geometric designs namely: Maddikaya, Omkaram, Padava, Chandrudu, Hastam, Pachees, Bhucharakam, Swastik, Vimanam, Simham, Chillaka, Gadiyaram, Muggu, Suryudu, Pakshulu and Mallepuwu.
A GI tag to such ancient artwork insulates the uniqueness of the product from fakes and sets a quality benchmark for the work. Its commercial value and exploitation shall be vested with the applicants, who are usually Association of Artisans or Government Departments, said Sanjai Gandhi who filed the application for the GI of Telia Rumal.

Chennai Based IP Lawyer AUTHOR:
Student, DSNLU.
Ponnur, Guntur,
Andhra Pradesh.

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