Intellectual property (IP) rights are legal rights that protect creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. There are several types of IP rights, including:
- Copyright: Copyright protects original literary, artistic, and musical works, as well as films, television programs, and software. It gives the creator of the work the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and adapt the work.
- Trademarks: Trademarks are distinctive signs or symbols used to identify a company or product and distinguish it from those of other companies. Trademarks can include words, phrases, logos, or designs.
- Patents: Patents protect new and useful inventions, such as products or processes. A patent gives the inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the invention for a certain period of time.
- Industrial designs: Industrial designs protect the appearance of a product, such as its shape, configuration, or ornamentation.
- Trade secrets: Trade secrets are confidential business information, such as formulas, recipes, or methods, that give a company a competitive advantage. Trade secrets are protected under law, and the owner of the secret can take legal action against anyone who improperly acquires or discloses the information.
IP rights are governed by national and international laws, and they play an important role in promoting innovation and creativity. However, they can also be a source of controversy, particularly when it comes to the balance between protecting IP rights and ensuring access to knowledge and technology.
Why is IPR necessary?
Humanity’s growth and well-being depend on its ability to generate and innovate new works in the fields of culture and technology.
- The legal protection of new creations promotes the investment of extra resources for future advancement.
- The promotion and protection of intellectual property stimulates economic growth, generates new businesses and employment, and improves the quality and pleasure of life.
- Protect the rights of creators: IPR is essential to protect the rights of creators and other producers of their intellectual commodities, products, and services by allowing them time-limited control over the use of created things.
- It stimulates innovation and creativity and facilitates corporate operations.
- It encourages technological transfer through foreign direct investment, joint partnerships, and licencing.
INDIA and IPR
- India is a WTO member and signatory to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement).
- India is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which promotes the protection of intellectual property rights across the globe.
- India is also a signatory to the following WIPO-administered international treaties and conventions pertaining to intellectual property rights.
- Budapest Convention on the International Recognition of Microorganism Deposits for Patent Procedure
- Paris Convention on Industrial Property Protection
- Constitution of the World Intellectual Property Organization
- Convention de Berne for la Protection des uvres Littéraires et artistiques
- Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks under the Patent Cooperation Treaty – Madrid Protocol.
- The Washington Treaty on the Protection of Intellectual Property Regarding Integrated Circuits
- The Treaty of Nairobi for the Protection of the Olympic Symbol
- Convention for the Protection of Phonogram Producers Against Unauthorized Reproduction of Their Phonograms
- Treaty of Marrakesh to Facilitate Access to Published Works for People with Visual Impairments and Print Disabilities.
National IP Strategy
- In May of 2016, the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016 was enacted as a guiding document for the future development of IPRs in the country.
- The rallying cry is “Creative India, Innovative India.”
- It includes and consolidates all IPRs on a single platform, taking into consideration all interrelationships, with the objective of creating and exploiting synergies across all kinds of intellectual property (IP), relevant legislation, and agencies.
- It establishes an institutional system for execution, oversight, and evaluation. It seeks to integrate and adapt international best practises to the Indian context.
- The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has been tasked with coordinating, guiding, and overseeing the implementation and future development of intellectual property rights in India.
- The ‘Cell for IPR Promotion & Management (CIPAM)’, established under the administration of DIPP, will serve as the single point of contact for implementing the National IPR Policy’s objectives.
The Indian IPR system complies with the World Trade Organization’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).