INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

The fast driven globalisation has so forth pushed the Indian economy to face a trade evolution. The ‘Intellectual’ property has become one of the key wealth catalysts at International standards. In a country like India, where the economic stabilisation is inhibited, the growth of intellectual capital and properties inclusive of their rights have become a very important horizon on the new statues and judicial pronouncement. These rights have grown to a stature where the rules and regulations withstanding the rights have urged the multilateral level of trades in view of the need for safeguarding it. There are various forms of intellectual property. Copyright, designs, trademarks, patents, layout designs, geographical indications, etc. have been protected for a long time. Protection of intellectual property has been the need of the hour with the competitive approach to the modern trade approach for a country like India.

DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA

Intellectual Property (IP) is a term referring to the creation of the intellect for which the monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law. The need for laws abiding the new rules was first encoded in 1485 that came in the form of Venetian Ordinance. Although the impact of the laws in India were very late. The first of it being the ‘Indian Patent Act in 1856’. The development of these laws was very slow and least concerned. Until recent subtle steps are taken up to protect four basic forms of intellectual property. In India, the major four IPs are patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs. The establishment of the WTO was the reason India was obligated to adhere to the guidelines of IP laid by the organisation. New legislation and stiffer laws were enforced. In a competitive world, the stronger IP laws raise the incentives the better innovations.

The Indian law pertaining to the IP was basically stacked upon on four major acts such as, Patents Act of 1970, Trade Mark Act of 1999, The Design Act of 2000, and Copyright Act of 1957. The Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement has set minimum standards for the protection of IPR. The laws formulated by India are also subject to required changes if necessary.

MAJOR FORMS OF ACT

THE PATENT ACT, 1970

This act is for the protection of innovations. This act safeguards the application of an idea to create something novel, useful and non-obvious. Although it covers the claims related to the specified innovative ideas. The act provides a scope to the creator to exclude others from making, selling or using the ideas. Other than that, it offers protection of 17 years and an additional period of 5 years from the date of filing for the patent. The credibility should surpass the permissible standard of the subject matter. It should be legal and novel as well as utilised. The subject matter for the same should be non-obvious and new. Other than these the patent holder has to pay the required fees. The fees vary from individual to legal entities. The subsequent years, except the 1st and 2nd year need renewability of the fees. In case of failure of renewability of the fees, the patent lapses. The patent holder has a right to decide who can use, copy or sell, or create the IP covered by the patent.

THE TRADEMARK ACT, 1999

The law of trademarks is modernized under the Trademark Act of 1999. A trademark, which basically is special symbol for distinguishing the goods offered for sale or put in the market is governed under the said act. Other than a particular symbol, it a be a signature, label, device or number including colour combination. For a valid trademark, the selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically. It also should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one entity from the other. The Trademark act was drafted in the year 1999 but came to force in 2003 replacing the Trade and Merchandise Marks act of 1958. The law protects the users against the application of the same by any other individual than the owner. This act too has an application on the payment of a nominal fee. The trademark is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application against the same subsequently the fees have to be paid

THE COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957

Copyright is a general set of exclusive rights granted to the creator or the innovator against his creation. This gives protection for the expression of an idea. In India, the same act has been repealed by the government about 5 times to scrutinize the violation of the same. This act has completely laid down the different types of copyright and penalty against the infringement. Copyrights last for 60 years. According to the act, reproduction, use, distribution, performance, etc. without the due permission of the author constitutes the infringement.

THE DESIGNS ACT, 2000

The modernized industrial industry runs on two basic factors. The artistic work and the functional part. The artistic work covers the design and structure of the company. The designs laid out by different industry for a particular product is extraordinary and same. The same can be registered in India under the Designs Act. It also has provisions for the maintenance of the lapsed designs as well. The basic enhancement period of registration is from 5 to 10 years and further is followed by a further extension of 5 more years. It as well ensures certain restrictive conditions for the control of anti-competitive practices in contractual licenses.

NEED OF IPR IN INDIA

The IP rights are important because;

i. It segregates different types of like business

ii. Licensed for providing an important revenue stream

iii. Constitutes an essential part of marketing and ensures uniqueness

iv. Also used as security or collateral

The need for IPR in India is not only restricted to the above mentioned points but largely related to the competitive market. The evolution of modern trade in the world has set higher standards and meeting such standards is very essential for a nation like India. The intellectual property is a base in equating such as trade business management. It contributes enormously to the national economy and the state economy. Various modifications in the form of amendments and rewriting the laws to make a stringent system for safeguarding is very essential. India’s move towards the new IPR regime and protecting intellectual property is a much more competitive approach towards the global trade competition.

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