GI cover for frankincense, goats of Jabal Akhdhar

Muscat, Dec 15 – The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said it received three applications for granting geographical indications to Omani frankincense, goats of Jabal Al Akhdhar and cows of the south of Oman. The ministry expects that in near future it would be possible to protect a number of Omani food, crafts and other products as geographic indicators, preventing them from violating the rights of geographical indications under the Lisbon Convention for the registration of geographical indications.
Ali bin Hamad al Mamari, Chairman of the Industrial Property Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said: “The Omani law has defined the geographical indicator in the Industrial Property Law issued under the Royal Decree No 67/2008 saying that it determines the origin of a commodity in a territory of a country, or a region or a place in that territory, whereas the nature, reputation or other characteristics of that commodity are mainly rooted in that particularly geographic region.”
According to this law, the application for registration of a geographical indicator with the registrar would be filed only by the natural or legal persons or any competent authority which are engaged as producers in the geographical area specified in the application in respect of the goods mentioned in the application, said Al Mamari
He said: “The act also authorises producers who are engaged in any activity in a specific geographical area to prevent others from using identical marks in goods or services which are similar to those for which the geographical indication has been registered.”
Al Mamari said that the protection of geographical indications was of huge importance from social aspects. It helps in uplifting the standard of living of individuals. It encourages them to increase production and gain financial returns. It is also beneficial for the economy as it is source of income. Omani halwa, Omani lemon, Omani thyme or Zatar, stones and minerals of Oman, pomegranates and rose water of Jabal Al Akhdhar and Omani dates are likely candidates of geographical indicators. This will help tourists and people to know more about the Sultanate.