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May 15, 2010

Paithani sarees get patent for protection against imitation

Paithan (Aurangabad): The handloom sarees from Paithan town in Maharashtra's Aurangabad region are known for their exquisite designs and unique quality. These sarees have been reckoned as royal attire since time immemorial. The Indian women have cherished possessing and wearing these sarees. There was a time when these sarees were exported to many countries and, in return, gold and silver were bought. But production of fake or imitated Paithani sarees elsewhere in the country adversely affected the livelihood of bona-fide weavers of this traditional attire of Indian women. Following fake production of Paithani sarees in other states, it turned a major problem for buyers to differentiate the fake one from the authentic ones. Thanks to the initiative of a forum of the handloom weavers, the Central government recently granted intellectual property rights (IPR) to them. The step has helped in putting a curb on unscrupulous persons indulging in making and selling fake Paithani sarees. Sensing the grave danger posed by such a forge production of Paithani sarees, the Pratishthan Weavers Association of Aurangabad decided to obtain official patent for their authentic sarees woven on handlooms. This patent tag, now onwards, would enable the weavers, existing as a cottage industry in villages, to gain goodwill and also premium prices for their products in both--domestic and global markets. "The sarees which are manufactured in Paithan are famously known as Paithani sarees. To protect the authenticity and ethnic culture of Paithan, we have patented them (sarees) so that people in other states should not sell sarees woven on powerlooms in the name of Paithani sarees," said Graami Zameel Ahmed, Chairman, Pratishthan Weavers Association, Aurangabad. "Production of Paithani sarees by machines in other states should be stopped by the government so that we, the weavers are benefited. Once the illegal machine production stops, more weavers will gain employment opportunities," said Sheikh Mohammad, a weaver of Paithani sarees, Aurangabad. The IPR will help the weavers of Aurangabad avail due prices for their product and also facilitate proper marketing.

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