Intellectual Property Rights

By | February 2, 2024

Meaning of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights refers to a set of legal rights that are granted to individuals or organizations for their creations or inventions resulting from human intellect and creativity. Intellectual property is a broad term that encompasses various types of intangible assets, and IPR aims to protect these assets from unauthorized use or exploitation. Their primary objective is to strike a balance between incentivizing innovation, creativity, and technological advancement while also promoting the greater good of society. The main types of intellectual property rights include:

  • Copyright: Protects original works of authorship such as books, music, films, software, and other artistic or creative expressions.
  • Trademark: Protects brand names, logos, slogans, and other distinctive marks that identify and distinguish goods or services in the marketplace.
  • Patent: Grants exclusive rights to inventors for new and useful inventions, providing them with a monopoly over the invention for a limited period.
  • Industrial Design: Safeguard the visual appearance and aesthetics of a product, particularly concerning its shape, pattern, or colour.
  • Geographical Indications: Indicate the geographical origin of certain goods, ensuring they possess specific qualities or reputation due to their origin.
  • Plant Variety (Plant Patents): Provide exclusive rights to breeders of new plant varieties, enabling them to control the use of their creations.

 

Object behind Intellectual Property Rights

 

  • Encouragement of Innovation and Creativity by offering exclusive rights to innovators
  • Promotion of Economic Growth by stimulating entrepreneurship and the growth of industries that rely heavily on intellectual assets
  • Protection of Investments made by individuals and businesses in developing intellectual assets.
  • Facilitation of Technological Advancement in form of Patents by granting inventors a temporary monopoly over their inventions.
  • Knowledge Sharing and Public Disclosure contributing to the dissemination of knowledge, allowing others to build upon these ideas and foster further innovation.
  • Protection of Cultural and Artistic Expressions in form of Copyright and related IPR protect cultural heritage and artistic expressions, preserving diverse forms of creativity for future generations.
  • Consumer Protection by ensuring the quality and authenticity of products and services by allowing consumers to identify the source of goods through trademarks.
  • Technological Transfer and Collaboration between different entities through licensing and technology transfer agreements is facilitated by IPR.
  • Promotion of Foreign Investment and Trade by providing assurance to businesses that their intellectual assets will be protected in foreign markets.

Law on Intellectual Property Rights

  1. International
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886): 

It deals with copyright protection and ensures that creators’ works are protected in member countries without the need for formal registration

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883): 

It primarily focuses on industrial property rights, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and trade secrets.

  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) (1994): 

It is an agreement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) that sets down minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (1970): 

It simplifies the process of obtaining patent protection in multiple countries.

  • Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891):

It establishes an international system for the registration of trademarks

  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (1999): The It provides a centralized system for registering industrial designs internationally.
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (1977): 

It facilitates the recognition of deposits of microorganisms for patent procedures.

 

  1. Indian
  • The Patents Act, 1970: This law governs the grant and protection of patents in India. It sets out the requirements for patentability, the rights of patentees, and the duration of patent.
  • The Copyright Act, 1957: The Copyright Act deals with the protection of original literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works. 
  • The Trade Marks Act, 1999: This law regulates the registration and protection of trademarks in India. It provides exclusive rights to trademark owners and establishes the rules for trademark registration and enforcement.
  • The Designs Act, 2000: The Designs Act governs the registration and protection of industrial designs in India. It safeguards the visual appearance and aesthetics of products, and registered designs receive protection for a specific period.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999: This Act protects the geographical indications of goods originating from specific regions in India. It aims to prevent unauthorized use of such geographical indications and promote their unique qualities.
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001: This law deals with the protection of plant varieties and provides a system for the registration of new plant varieties by breeders. It also includes provisions for farmers’ rights.
  • The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000: This Act protects the layout designs of integrated circuits and grants exclusive rights to the creators of such designs.

 

Landmark cases on Intellectual Property Rights

  1. Novartis AG v. Union of India (2013): This case involved a patent dispute over Novartis’ cancer drug “Glivec.” The Indian Supreme Court upheld the rejection of Novartis’ patent application, ruling that the drug did not represent a significant improvement over existing forms and lacked novelty and inventiveness. The decision clarified the criteria for patentability in India and reinforced the country’s stance on balancing IPR protection and access to affordable medicines.
  2. Bayer Corporation v. Union of India (2014): In this case, the Indian Patent Office granted a compulsory license to an Indian generic drug manufacturer for Bayer’s cancer drug “Nexavar.” The license allowed the generic company to produce and sell the drug at a more affordable price. This decision highlighted the importance of ensuring access to essential medicines in the country.
  3. Bajaj Auto Limited v. TVS Motor Company Limited (2009): This case involved a patent dispute between two leading Indian motorcycle manufacturers over a technology related to the use of an internal combustion engine. The Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of TVS Motor Company, stating that they did not infringe Bajaj’s patent. This case set a precedent for patent infringement litigation in India.
  4. Entertainment Network (India) Limited v. Super Cassettes Industries Limited (2018): This case dealt with the issue of music licensing and royalty payments to authors, composers, and music publishers. The Supreme Court of India clarified the calculation of royalties and established the rights and obligations of broadcasting organizations and copyright owners.

 

Conclusion

Intellectual Property Rights are essential in promoting innovation, creativity, economic growth, and cultural preservation. They create a balance between rewarding creators and inventors for their contributions and promoting the greater good of society by encouraging knowledge sharing and access to essential technologies and goods.

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