With the rapid globalization of the Indian economy, “Intellectual Capital” has become one of the significant drivers in the current international trade. Intellectual property rights are the legitimate rights given to people over the innovations of their minds. Recently, these rights have attained protection and recognition. The National Intellectual Property rights policy in India was officially agreed by the government in May 2016 to ensure deference to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM), a subordinate office of the Indian government supervises the Indian law of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indications.
The Intellectual Property Rights as per the trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights are as follows:
- In India, the system of copyrights is governed by the Indian Copyright Act 1957, amended frequently, and the Indian Copyright Rules, 1958.
- The Indian copyright law’s protection extends to the rights of artists like photographers, painters, musicians, sculptors, and authors for copyright in the original works of their authorship. The software programmers also have a copyright in either the source code or the object code.
- Literary work, original poetry, movies, video games, stage productions, paintings, sound recordings novels, software code, elements of fashion design and so forth must have copyrights as long as they are able to fulfill the necessary levels of originality and creativity.
- Copyrights last for 60 years. Artistic works are given copyright protection for a duration which extends through the lifetimes of the author and 60 years from the year in which the author dies. In the case of photographs, computer programs, copyrights are granted for 60 years from the end of the year in which the work becomes available to the public once approved by the owner of the copyright.
- The Delhi High Court in a 2016 copyright lawsuit stated that copyrights in India are there only to increase the harvest of knowledge and to encourage progress in the arts for the intellectual enhancement of the public.
- The Patent Law in India was first enacted in 1911 and the current Patents Act, 1970 came into enforcement in the year 1972.
- A patent is an exclusive right given to a person whose skill or labor produces the idea of a new manufacture or process. The person alone is authorized to use it and can extract profit from it.
- In India, patents also include the rights of farmers, plant breeders and biological diversity.
- A patent search is also carried out to make sure that the idea behind a new process is inventive, novel and industrial applicable and to check whether there is any similar invention to the applicant’s invention.
- Patents last for 20 years from the date of filing the patent application in India.
- In India, the Indian Trademark Law protects the trademarks and deals with the mechanism of registration of trademarks as per the Trademark Act of 1999. Trademark application in India is a way to set up ownership and protects a brand’s entity.
- A trademark could be any name, color, logo, symbol or sound that uniquely identifies the source of the goods and services. It helps in distinguishing the products of one manufacturer from the other indicating the origin of these products.
- Trademarks have a goodwill associated with the products and their respective sources which helps the buyers to find their desired products.
- Trademark protection is available for 10 years from the date of application, renewable every 10 years on payment of the required fee.
4- GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
- India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (registration and protection) Act, 1999, came into action from September 15, 2003.
- Geographical indication (GI) is a name, sign or a symbol used on certain goods corresponding to a specific geographical location which specifies that a product of a specific origin has certain characteristics, quality and attributes associated with it.
- Any producer or manufacturer who is able to satisfy the standards established by the GI owner can use a GI.
- Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Alphanso Mango, Agra Petha, Bikaneri Bhujia, Malabar Pepper are a few examples of geographical indications in India.
- Geographical indications are registered for a period of 10 years, renewable from time to time as per the provisions of this section.
5- INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS
- According to the Indian law, under the Design Act 2000, Industrial Design protection is provided for the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colors, which, when applied to a functional two-dimensional or three-dimensional article, makes it novel, and improves the visual appearance of the design.
- In India, Industrial Designs have 10 years’ protection after filing, and could be renewed once for 5 years.
- The design should be cognizable, applicable to a functional article, visible on a finished article to qualify for protection. The applicant must make sure that there is no prior disclosure of the design.
6- PROTECTION OF UNDISCLOSED INFORMATION
- A trade secret or confidential information is any information that has been intentionally kept as secret by the owner.
- In India, all matters related to protection of Undisclosed Information are covered under the Contract Act of 1872.
- The subject-matter undisclosed information includes internal processes, technical data, methodologies, survey methods, source code, training material, list of customers, process of manufacture, techniques, formulae, drawing, etc.
- Undisclosed information remains confidential for indefinite duration of time, and the owner can take an action against unlawful use of such information by others.
7- INTEGRATED CIRCUIT LAYOUT DESIGN PROTECTION
- India enacted the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Designs Act 2000 to give exclusive rights and protection to original layout designs of integrated circuits.
- A layout design claims protection if it is distinguishable from any other registered layout design.
- A layout design is valid only for 10 years from the date of filing.