Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam gets copyright for Tirupati laddoo

The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam has got geographical indication(GI) certificate for Tirupati laddoo offered as prasadam to devotees at the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala hills. This copyright means no one can make and sell laddoos as Tirupati prasadams within a specified territory.

The TTD had applied for GI with the Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry in March last year. The certification was completed recently.

Mr G. L.Verma, assistant registrar of trademarks and GI, told reporters at his Chennai office that "We have granted the GI certificate for Tirupati laddoo to the TTD". This laddoo "is now protected under law and none can copy it and market it under the same name".

He explained that under GI, the right to marketing the certified product is tied to a definite geographical territory and the product should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory. Part of the Intellectual Property Rights, the GI tag provides legal protection and empowers the holder to take legal action in case of infringement.

In its application seeking the GI tag, TTD had said that the size and flavour "are typical characteristics of Tirupati laddoo." They are not produced anywhere in the world and "are unique in terms of quality, reputation and other characteristics, which go into its making."

Speaking to mediapersons in Tirupati, TTD chairman D K Audikesavulu and TTD executive officer I Y R Krishna Rao said the GIR certificate will effectively curb the fake laddoo menace.

The temple kitchen prepares approximately 1.5 lakh laddoos a day. The production is increased by 50 to 75 percent on peak days.

Earlier, the price of a laddoo was just Rs 10 a piece. In the last two years, it has gone up to Rs 25. Its size varies, depending on the purpose for which it is used. Small laddoos are distributed to devotees free, but a regular or medium-sized laddoo is sold across the counter. The large ones are called 'kalyana Laddoos'.


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