Intellectual Property Rights

OVERVIEW

Intellectual Property Rights are legal rights that protect the creation of the inventor/ author and provide the inventor/author with monetary benefits for the same. Intellectual Properties are the creation of the mind that is protected by the intellectual property law. Intellectual Property is important to prevent unfair competition, enjoy benefits are the rightful owner, preventing infringement, etc.

The first major step towards IPR protection came in 1995 when India joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and became a signatory to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement. WIPO is the World Intellectual Property organization which is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations with the main objective to promote and protection of intellectual property worldwide and to ensure administrative cooperation among the Intellectual Property Unions established by the treaties that WIPO administers

As per World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) the following to be protected as intellectual property rights:

  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Industrial designs
  • Copyright

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN INDIA:

India is one of the signatories to TRIPS Agreement and is mandated to comply with the rules laid down by the TRIPS. Hence, various legislations were enacted to protect intellectual property rights:

Statutory Legislations are:

THE PATENTS ACT, 1970:

A Patent is an exclusive right granted to the owner of an invention to make, use, manufacture, and market the invention, provided the invention satisfies conditions stipulated by the Law. This Act gives the Exclusive right of being the first inventor of a product or process granted by the government and excludes others from making, selling, using, or importing the patented product without his consent. This gives the inventor exclusive rights over his invention, provided the invention is

  • Novel
  • Should be a useful one, and
  • Must be non-obvious

A patent holder has the following rights:

  • Right to exploit the patent,
  • assign and license,
  • surrender the patent,
  • to sue any person in case of infringement

THE TRADEMARKS ACT, 1999:

The Trade Marks Act, 1999 protects the trademark and prevents the fraudulent use of trademarks. A Trademark is a visual or graphical representation in the form of a name, symbols, phrases, logo, etc., that helps distinguish one seller's products and services from that of its competitors. This gives the seller a monopoly power and a boost to his brand name. A distinctive and unique trademark would help increase the market share of the seller’s products. A trademark is valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed from time to time.

Rights of a Registered trademark owner:

  • Right to Exclusive Use
  • Right to Seek Statutory Remedy Against an Infringement
  • Right of Registered Trademark holder of Identical Trademark
  • Right to Assign
  • Right to Seek Correction of Register
  • Right to Alter Registered Trademark

INDIAN COPYRIGHT ACT 1957:

The objective of this copyright law is to assure authors, composers, artists, designers, and other creative people, who risk their capital in putting their works before the public, the right of their original expression, and second to encourage new artists/authors to build upon their ideas. Copyright is the exclusive right of the copyright holder.

The certificate of a copy of registration acts as evidence of the authorship and helps the author take immediate legal action in case of infringement, and gives rise to economic, moral, and social rights. The subject matter of Copyright is Cinematography, artistic works, dramatic works, musical works, literary works, sound recording, etc

DESIGNS ACT, 2000:

Design means features of shape, pattern, configuration, ornament or composition of colors or lines which is applied in three dimensional or two dimensional or in both the forms using any of the processes whether manual, chemical, mechanical, separate or combined which in the finished article appeal to or judged wholly by the eye. The design ought to be novel, original, and unique and must not conflict with the public policy. The Law aims to protect of designs and restricts imitation of the designs by any third party for a period of10 years .

GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS OF GOODS (PROTECTION AND REGISTRATION) ACT, 1999:

This Act confers protection of Geographical Indications in India. The GI tag means the article contains certain features that indicate its geographical origin. This Act helps to encourage the manufacturer to uphold certain articles' quality standards and values, thereby increasing the reputation of those articles and conserving traditional production methods and protects for ten years.

Examples: Darjeeling tea, Malabar Pepper, Kanchipuram Silk saree, etc.

SEMICONDUCTOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS LAYOUT DESIGNS ACT, 2000:

In compliance with the TRIPS Agreement, India has enacted the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Designs Act, 2000, to protect layout designs of integrated circuits. Layout design includes circuits, transistors, circuitry elements, wires, etc. Registration of a layout design is valid for ten years from the date of filing of the application.

PROTECTION OF PLANT VARIETIES AND FARMERS RIGHTS ACT, 2001:

This Act was enacted to protect the farmer's and breeders' rights and encourage new plant varieties. The Act grants intellectual property rights to plant breeders, researchers, and farmers who have developed any new or extinct plant varieties.

INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK LAW:

TRIPS: Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights:

WTO has a common Dispute settlement mechanism, and TRIPS was created to deal with IP. TRIPS binds all member countries. It aims to protect IP, Enforcement of IP Rights, promotion of technical innovations, social and economic welfare, etc. TRIPS is needed to protect IP rights, provide adequate standards and principles, and settle disputes between governments concerning IP.

TRIPS Agreement protects the following areas:

  • Trademarks and service marks.
  • Industrial designs.
  • Copyrights and similar rights.
  • Geographical indications specify the origin.
  • Trade secrets.
  • Design layout of assimilated circuits.
  • Test data.
  • Patents, including protection of new plant varieties.

THE MADRID SYSTEM:

The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks is governed by the Madrid Agreement, concluded in 1891, and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement concluded in 1989. The system makes it possible to protect a mark in many countries by obtaining an international registration that affects each designated Contracting Parties.

UNCTAD:

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body. The primary objective of UNCTAD is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development, including trade, aid, transport, finance, and technology. The conference ordinarily meets once in four years; the permanent secretariat is in Geneva.

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES:

Other treaties that supported the International Copyright Law:

  • Berne convention (literary and artistic works)
  • Universal copyright convention (UCC)
  • Geneva convention

For more information on IPR and related services please check the list below.

Get in Touch