What are Intellectual Property Rights in India?

When it comes to intellectual property rights in India, the law is quite clear regarding ownership. For a layperson, the confusion usually lies in the fact that intellectual property is intangible. Hence, how can there be ownership rights associated with it? But consider a scenario where there is a computer technologist, and he has developed a unique design for integrated circuits. His design can be easily copied, and it needs to be protected, and undeclared copying prevented. It cannot come under patent.  It then comes under intellectual property and will fall under the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000. This way, undisclosed copying of the circuit design can be prevented. Some of the essential features of intellectual property rights in India are as follows:

1.Patents as an essential part of intellectual property

The discovery of anything new requires the need for a patent. With the help of a patent, you can prevent reverse engineering and prevent duplication. When you think about intellectual property,the first thing that you must understand is that it includes all discoveries made to revolutionize science, technology, and medicine. Say, for instance, a completely new drug is invented using new technology. Such a drug needs to be patented to prevent duplication. As India enters the global market and there is export and import of foreign drugs, medicines, and technology, the rights of these companies and corporate houses need to be protected with the help of these patent laws. India is a part of the TRIPS Agreement, which protects foreign companies and their intellectual properties.

2. Copyright Act

The Copyright Act is the oldest version of the intellectual property law. Consider a scenario where an author has written a play, a novel, or a similar literary creation. Any such literary creation is printed by a particular publishing house that pays the author royalty. Now, this transaction is protected under the Copyright Act. Any other publishing house printing the literary creation without the permission of the publishing house that has the printing rights will violate the Copyright Act. This is also a violation of Intellectual Property Rights. As a result, it can draw legal action from the publishing house and the author.

3. Protection of undisclosed information

This is a part of the intellectual property law if the information is not used for an unlawful act. If certain information is considered confidential, it can be kept as a secret as long as the person concerned is alive. This information can be related to property or finances. However, if the information is required in any legal case or considered crucial to solving an unlawful act, then the information must be divulged. If the information is otherwise divulged, it can be considered a breach of trust and legal action. These are usually considered in case of company secrets or while dealing with sensitive information.

4. Geographical indications

This came into effect on 15 September 2003. The objective of the ACT was to protect the origin of an item from a particular geographical location. If an item, especially a crop or produce, was being developed or sourced from a particular region in India, then it became necessary to protect its productivity. It became necessary to bring in this ACT after India became a part of the WTO. This is necessary to identify the origin, especially the geographical origin of the goods, to protect their genuineness.

When it comes to protecting intellectual property, the law is clear about identifying the origin of the goods. Without identifying the creator or the origin of the items, you cannot establish intellectual property. The objective of the law is to ensure you have rights as the owner of a property and you have rights as the creator of the unique item. This can create a unique technological item, a literary creation, or even an invention. When India entered the global market, such laws became necessary as foreign investors came with new and improved products already patented in foreign markets. Duplication had to be prevented in India. This necessitated the introduction of various statutes under intellectual property rights. These statutes are designed to protect the rights of the owners of these intellectual properties.

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