What is Intellectual Property Right? D2G Explains!!!

What is Intellectual Property Right or IPR?

There is a concept called Intellectual Property Right (IPR). This article is going to explain it in a well detailed manner.

Recently there was a news about GI Tag for Basmati Rice. Couple of days back we read about GI Tag for Bengali Sweets. (GI stands for Geographical Indication). We also read a lot about Patent Dispute between Samsung & Apple. Sometimes we come across Science Updates related to one XXX Pharma Company got approval to produce a Generic Medicine for YYY Disease. What are these things? There comes Intellectual Property Right.

We all know what is the meaning of RIGHTS. (Also Know Your Fundamental Rights). Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.

IP is protected in law by , for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. IP is an intangible asset to a company. It gives business partners and financial institutions the confidence to invest in or collaborate with the organisation. In addition to protecting their creation, business owners can maximise the value of their IPs in many ways. They can franchise, license out or transact their IP.

What are the Types of Intellectual Property Right?

  1. Copyright
  2. Patents
  3. Trademarks
  4. Industrial Designs
  5. Geographical Indications
Intellectual Property Right

Image Courtesy private-investigator

What is a Copyright?

Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

Copyright protection extends only to expressions, and not to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such. Copyright may or may not be available for a number of objects such as titles, slogans, or logos, depending on whether they contain sufficient authorship.

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.

The patent owner has the exclusive right to prevent or stop others from commercially exploiting the patented invention. In other words, patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold by others without the patent owner’s consent.

Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.

The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application.

A generic drug is a pharmaceutical product, usually intended to be interchangeable with an innovator product, that is manufactured without a licence from the innovator company and marketed after the expiry date of the patent or other exclusive rights.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Trademarks date back to ancient times when craftsmen used to put their signature or “mark” on their products.

A trademark is a visual symbol, which may be a word, name, device, label or numerals used by a business to distinguish it goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from a different business. A registered trademark is an intangible asset or intellectual property for a business and is used to protect the company’s investment in the brand or symbol

What is an Industrial Design?

An industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.

In principle, the owner of a registered industrial design or of a design patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.

Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft items: from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs may also be relevant to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and logos.

What is a Geographical Indication?

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.

Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.

For example,

My place Madurai (Tamil Nadu) is very famous for Jasmine. In Tamil it is called Malligai. It is usually called Madurai Malli. It is known for its heady fragrance, exclusive size and shape. In 2013, ‘Madurai Malli’ was given the Geographical Indication (GI) mark by the Geographical Indications Registry. The GI tag will reinforce Madurai Malli’s identity in the global market. The tag will help preserve the biodiversity of Madurai and protect the legitimate rights of jasmine farmers. (You can read the news HERE)

World Intellectual Property Day is observed on April 26. 

India ranks 37 out of 38 countries in World IP Index. Read the News HERE.

References : WTO, WIPO, Wikipedia, The Hindu, Business Dictionary, Legal Dictionary


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