Intellectual property refers to the creative effort of the human mind. A right to intellectual property is an invisible/intangible right to a creation of a human mind, such as a newly developed product, i.e., intellectual property, as opposed to a right to material things/tangibles, such as a right to the invented products. Intellectual property is also referred to as ‘knowledge goods.’[1] The major reason for its protection is to enhance science and technology, the arts, literature, and other creative works, as well as to foster and honor innovation[2].

Copyright, trademarks, geographical indications, patents, utility models, plant varieties, industrial designs, trade secrets, layout design of integrated circuits, and so on are all aspects of intellectual property.

Let’s Discuss the classification of Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright

Copyright law is concerned with the safeguard and utilization of physical expressions of ideas. In the contemporary world, copyright law safeguards not only the conventional recipients of copyright, the specific writer, artist, or composer but also for the publication necessary to produce work by significant cultural industries, such as film, recording enterprises and broadcasts as well as software and computer enterprises[3].

In India, copyright is safeguarded under the Copyright Act of 1957. It provides copyright protection in the two ways listed below[4]:

  • Economic rights of the author, and
  • Moral Rights of the author.

It may be found in literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, as well as ‘original’ cinematic films and sound recordings set in a concrete medium. The law of copyright balances private and public interests through the implementation of the idea of fair use[5].

Patent

The Patents Act of 1970 was revised by the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005, which expanded product patents to include food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, as well as microorganisms[6]

Patent law acknowledges a patent holder’s exclusive right to profit commercially from his creation. A patent is a particular right granted to the owner of an invention to produce, use, and promote the invention, provided that certain legal criteria are met. The term “exclusive right” refers to the fact that no one may produce, use, or market an invention without the permission of the patent holder.

An invention must be within the limits of the patentable matter and meet the three legislative conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial application to qualify for patent protection. The novelty and necessity requirements are often met if the patent applicant is the first to invent the claimed invention.

Trademark

In India, trademark rights are administratively safeguarded by the Trademark Act, 1999, as well as by the common law remedy of passing off[7].

A trademark is a designation of origin. It is a special symbol used to publicize the source of goods and services in connection to goods and services as well as to differentiate goods and services from other entities. This establishes a link between the product and the proprietor. A trademark’s primary role is to identify the origin of the items to which it is linked or in connection to which it is used. This may be an identity, a term, a phrase, a logo, a layout, a symbol, an image, a form, a color, a number, a letter, or a combination that depicts a graph.

Geographical indication

Geographical indications are safeguarded under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999. It is a term or symbol used on some items related to the product’s geographic region or origin. The usage of geographical location may operate as a certification that the product contains specific attributes according to the conventional approach. For example, the geographical indication is commonly used in the production of Darjeeling tea and basmati rice.

Geographical Indication serves three purposes. First, they identify the goods as being from a specific region or that region or locality; second, they suggest to consumers that the goods come from a region where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the goods are primarily attributed to their geographic origin; and third, they promote the goods of producers from a specific region[8].

Industrial design

It is a type of intellectual property right that protects the visual design of a product that is not solely utilized. It is the application of characteristics of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, or composition of lines or colors to any two-dimensional or three-dimensional product or the combination of one or more features. Design protection is concerned with an article’s outward appearance, which includes ornamentation, lines, colors, form, texture, and materials.

Plant variety

The state has safeguarded a new plant breeder variety. To be eligible for plant diversity protection, diversity must be original, different, and similar to existing variations, and its fundamental traits must be uniform and stable under the Plant Protection and Protection Act, 2001. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001 is an outcome of India’s responsibility under Article 27(3)(b) of the TRIPs Agreement of 2001, which allows members to preserve plant varieties through patents, an enforceable sui generis system, or any blend of the two.

Diverse types of intellectual property rights (IPR) need special consideration, handling, planning, and tactics, as well as humans’ interaction with various subject expertise such as science, engineering, medical, law, finance, marketing, and economics. Intellectual property rights (IPR) have social, economic, technological, and political consequences. With the use of IPRs like patents, trademarks, service marks, industrial design registrations, copyrights, and trade secrets, pioneers in fast technology, globalization, and strong competition can safeguard against infringement of inventions.  

Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000

Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000 (Act No. 37 of 2000) Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout Designs and Related Matters Protection Act or are related to them. Under the present Act, a layout design that is firstly not original and secondly has been commercially exploited in India or a convention country or a third party and is not inherently distinctive or distinguishable from other registered layout designs cannot be registered as a design of tracing. To claim protection for Layout Design the registration is required.

Registration of a Layout Design is only valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing an application for registration or commercial use in any country, whichever comes first.

In addition to the available civil remedies, infringement of a layout design is also considered a criminal offense in India up to three years or a fine of Rs. 50,000 up to a maximum of Rs. 10,00,000 or both.

References: 

[1] IJLSI, Intellectual Property Rights and The Digital World, November 22, 2019, https://www.ijlsi.com/intellectual-property-rights-and-the-digital-world/

[2] Introduction to IPR, https://lawpage.in/intellectual_property_rights/notes/introduction

[3] Sudhi Ranjan Bagri, What are the rights of Copyright Owner, April 11, 2016, https://blog.ipleaders.in/rights-copyright-owner/

[4] Mahendra Kumar Sunkar, Copyright Law in India, https://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l195-Copyright-Law-in-India.html

[5] https://unikoip.com/copyright-2/

[6] Vijay Pal Dalmia, Patents Law In India – Everything You Must Know, 18 December 2017, https://www.mondaq.com/india/patent/656402/patents-law-in-india–everything-you-must-know

[7] Trademark Act, 1999, June 22, 2021, https://cleartax.in/s/trademark-act-1999

[8] https://unikoip.com/geographical-indication-2/

Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.

Author

  • Title

    Sankalp Mirani is a law student at MNLU Mumbai and is a legal researcher published in many journals and websites. He is a professional writer and has been awarded a doctorate in research by Acumen University.