Every time we hear about the word Intellectual property, we should just look around and observe that there are hundreds of things around us which are inventions, creations of minds and whose origin can be traced back from to ancient use of stamps, design on flags for identifying the troops to today’s global world.

But the question arises who is securing the human intellect and granting rights to benefit from the fruits of this intellectual endeavours and Why It is Oil for the 21st Century?

In Our Childhood Days, we must have heard or watched Harry Potter, the writer of it J.K. Rowling’s have sold at least 500 million copies worldwide and grossed 7.7 billion dollars.

Small sweet item in every Indian Household, Rasgulla is getting involved in a Legal war for GI tags between the State of Bengal and the State of Orissa.

So, one thing is sure IP is something which is as big as Oceans. 

Types of Intellectual Property:

Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:

(i) Copyright and rights related to copyright:

The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, computer programs, and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 60 years after the death of the author.

(ii) Industrial property: Industrial property can be divided into two main areas i.e

Protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks and geographical indications.

  • Trademarks distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.
  • Geographical Indications (GIs) identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
  • The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and to protect consumers, by enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services.
  • The protection may last indefinitely, provided they sign in question continues to be distinctive.
  • Industrial designs and trade secrets: Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design, and the creation of technology. In this category fall invention (protected by patents), industrial designs, and trade secrets.

The importance of intellectual property was first recognized in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886). Both treaties are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).

Further Trade-Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) an international agreement on intellectual property rights came into force in 1995 & is binding on all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

India and IPR: 

  • India is a member of the WTO and committed to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement).
  • India is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization, a body responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property rights throughout the world along with Treaties and Conventions to IPRs.
  • The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016 was adopted as a vision document to guide future development of IPRs in the country and call it “Creative India; Innovative India”.
    • It encompasses and brings to a single platform all IPRs, taking into account all inter-linkages, and thus aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes, and agencies. Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has been appointed as the nodal department to coordinate, guide, and oversee the implementation and future development of IPRs in India.
    • The ‘Cell for IPR Promotion & Management (CIPAM)’, set up under the aegis of DIPP, is to be the single point of reference for the implementation of the objectives of the National IPR Policy.
  • The Government has launched a campaign namely KAPILA (Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness) for Intellectual Property Literacy and creating patent awareness in students pursuing education in higher educational institutions and colleges the program will facilitate the colleges and institutions to encourage more and more students to file patents.
  • The scheme for Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)is envisaged to facilitate the protection of Patents, trademarks, and Designs of innovative and interesting Startups. The scheme is inclined to nurture and mentor innovative and emerging technologies among Startups and assist them in protecting and commercialize them by providing them access to high-quality IP services and resources.

Issues in India’s IPR regime:

  • As per WIPO, in 2019 India’s IP filling for the Patent is just 34,015, Trademark 3,69,905, and Industrial Design 12,753 which is very low in comparison to developed countries.
  • Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act 1970 (as amended in 2005) does not allow a patent to be granted to inventions involving new forms of a known substance unless it differs significantly in properties efficacy means that the Indian Patent Act does not allow evergreening of patents.
  • Issue of Compulsory licensing (CL): CL is problematic for foreign investors who bring technology as they are concerned about the misuse of CL to replicate their products. It has been impacting India-EU FTA negotiations.
  • India continues to remain on the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) ‘Priority Watch List for alleged violations of intellectual property rights (IPR).
  •  Foreign investors and MNCs allege that Indian law does not protect against unfair commercial use of test data or other data submitted to the government during the application for market approval of pharmaceutical or agro-chemical products. For this, they demand a Data Exclusivity law.
  • Enforcement of the Copyright act is weak, and piracy of copyrighted materials is widespread.

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.

Stephen R. Covey

IP is world full of oceans, we just need to find the right pearls and gems to through our knowledge and skill.


  • India has made many changes in its IPR regime to increase efficiency and has cut down the time required to issue patents. The culture of innovation is taking centre stage in the country. India is well poised to focus on R&D. This has been reflected in its improved ranking in Global Innovation Index over the years and Government’s effort to strengthen National IPR policy, IP appellate tribunal, e-governance and commitment to abide by the TRIPS agreement of WTO in letter and spirit will help in improving perception of India globally.
  • If all stakeholders take advantage of IP instrument, there is a possibility that IP can help and contribute in building up 5 trillion economy, and make India –Atmanirbhar Bharat with better rules

स्वस्तिप्रजाभ्यः परिपालयन्तां न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः।
गोब्राह्मणेभ्यः शुभमस्तु नित्यं लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु॥

May the rulers of the earth protect the well-being of the people,
With justice, by means of the right path.
May the inhabitants of all the worlds be full of happiness.
Oṃ Peace, Peace, Peace!

Disclaimer: The Views expressed in this Article are based upon prevailing facts and Law to date and information available  and views expressed are purely personal in nature. Readers are advised to seek expert opinion before arriving at a decision. You may reach me at [email protected]

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: HANA & Associates
Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Member Since: 04 Apr 2021 | Total Posts: 1
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April 2021