Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Laws

Intellectual property is intangible but is often valued higher than tangible assets.  Be it a song, an invention or the exclusive right over a particular scheme of colours, the ownership of intellectual property does not only provide a monopoly over such property, allowing one to exploit it in exclusion over others but also allows the owner to further assign or license this property, which allows them to monetize it in numerous ways.

Have you ever wondered what makes the USA the most powerful and the richest country in the world? China is far bigger in manufacturing. India has more engineers. There are more resources in Africa. Russia has more natural gas and oil. However, the USA is richer, and a superpower, because it has more intellectual property than any other country.

Every time we buy a mobile phone, watch movies or search online, entities from the USA earn money, thanks to intellectual property.

Let’s just take the example of Apple. Almost all the products of one of the world’s richest companies, Apple, are manufactured in China almost entirely. According to research, a 32GB iPhone 7 that retails for $649 costs Apple only $219.80 in components, with manufacturing adding just $5 to the price. The rest of the money is basically earned from intellectual property. This is what makes Apple, and consequently the USA, rich.

Going by the statistics, it seems like India has no intention to remain far behind when it comes to IP protection. Did you know that India is among the top ten countries in IP filings? In 2019 alone, 336, 194 trademarks were filed in India while in the financial year 2018-19, a total of 15, 089 patents were granted. The figures indicate that the value of the intellectual property is finally being realized in India which has led to a tremendous surge in jobs in the IP industry.

There are different kinds of intellectual properties which mean there are different laws dealing with these properties thereby leading to distinct areas of practices which one could choose from or one could choose not to micro specialize and work towards developing skills pertaining to all fields of intellectual property. IP has a lot to offer, it is up to you to select what you would like on your plate.

Trademarks, which are more widely used compared to other forms of IP are relevant for almost every sector of the economy as trademarks are employed to protect brands in all businesses. Businesses that fail to build a brand are often wiped out by the ones that manage to build a strong brand in any market. Also, businesses that focus on building a brand are usually far more successful and profitable than the ones that don’t.

Copyright, as well as Media and Entertainment laws, have been gaining traction by the day because of the emergence of newer modes of exploitation, thanks to technology. Did you know that the streaming giant, Netflix, recently announced its plan to invest a sum of 3,000 Crore Rupees in the production of original Indian content over the coming two years? With the entry of streaming platforms such as Apple TV+ and Disney +, the Indian media industry is soaring with opportunities for media lawyers. This is not just the golden age for television, this is the golden age for media law as well.

In addition to Media and technology, there are other IP-heavy industries such as fashion and Fast moving consumer goods which bring in a myriad of opportunities for intellectual property lawyers. The fashion industry has always struggled with the sale of counterfeit products and such acts have become more rampant because of the emergence of E-commerce. Similarly, FMCG Sectors continuously adopt numerous brands which need to be protected as well as enforced. Because of the extent of the work involved, FMCG giants, as well as fashion houses, often employ intellectual property lawyers as in-house counsel.

Now that you’ve been told about the weight of this ‘invisible’ property, here are a few questions that you should ask yourself: ??

  • Do you want to work in an intellectual property law firm?
  • Do you want to identify new services to offer independent clients?
  • Do you want to work as an in-house counsel in a media company or a production house?
  • Being a company secretary or a Chartered Accountant, do you want to help clients with IP-filings, opposition work and licensing contracts?
  • Do you think that there is a lack of opportunities in law school to acquire practical skills?
  • Do you believe that IP is a distinct area of practice and it is too late to venture into it now?
  • Do you feel the inability to make a shift to some other domain of IP after working in one? (Instance: I have been doing patent filings, how do I make a shift to trademarks?)
  • Have you been practising IP opposition for a while, struggling to move to litigation?
  • Do you feel the inability to work in the media industry because of a lack of experience in contract drafting?
  • Do you feel the inability to work in the patent industry because of a lack of scientific knowledge?

The career potential in intellectual property, media & entertainment law ;

​A detailed understanding of the strategy, creation, registration and monetization of different intellectual property forms in India and offshore, with multiple practical examples and case studies.

Intellectual property is frequently monetized through a variety of contracts in different industries. Some of them have their own set of commercial jargon based on the commercial intent behind the transaction. Knowing what the jargon means and then learning how to draft such contracts is effectively crucial to building a career in this area. Plenty of sample contracts and drafting exercises are included.

Intellectual property finds a very heavy application in the media and entertainment sector, so a course on intellectual property is not complete without a discussion of media and entertainment laws. This covers unique laws regulating different forms of media, intellectual property and other legal issues pertaining to the media and entertainment industry.

There is a lot of copyright-related compliance work because of the surge of online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, Apple TV+, etc.

The contracts and licensing work in the media industry have tremendously increased because of the original content on the internet. This original content has also given rise to disputes related to defamation as well as comparative advertising.

India’s online gaming industry has been thriving and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent between FY18-23 to reach Rs 11,900 crore (US$ 1.68 billion) in FY23 to bring in more due diligence and licensing work.

New businesses which intend to create video apps for regional content are also entering the space as they identify a vacuum in this market and scope for growth, and they have similar legal needs as the established players. This is a great career opportunity to tap for young lawyers.

There are also opportunities for doing freelance work for artists, individual creative professionals and talent management agencies.

Media and entertainment companies are building up their in-house teams continuously to handle a large volume of legal work as they expand their content repertoire through original content creation and licensing of existing content.

Trademark law practitioners have to deal with registration, objections, oppositions, licensing and assignments etc. Trademark litigation has massively increased in volume over the years, turning trademark practice into a very lucrative profession.

There are plenty of IPR and boutique law firms and many independent lawyers catering to startups and SMEs with respect to their trademark law needs.

There are mid-sized IP law firms (appointing between 50-200 lawyers) which engage in registration of IP, managing IP portfolios, enforcement of IP rights, disputes and litigation over IP, licensing and assignment of IP rights and other work.  These law firms provide a great opportunity to have a rewarding career in IP law to young lawyers.

There are also many boutique media and entertainment law firms, especially in Mumbai, which offer excellent opportunities.

There are LPOs, and technology platforms such as VakilSearch and IndiaFilings that hire hundreds of lawyers and IP professionals to register trademarks, copyright, patents etc at very economic rates.

Licensing, assignments, objections, oppositions and litigation have massively increased in volume over the years, turning IP law into a very lucrative profession.

Media and entertainment companies are hiring many lawyers to manage various aspects of their business.

Apart from tier 1 and tier 2 law firms, there are plenty of boutique law firms and many independent lawyers catering to startups and SMEs with respect to their IP law needs. These lawyers also need these same skills and make very good money.

There is a lot to be done in the next 3 years. Also, the space has become highly litigious given tons of complaints, objections to movies and specific scenes etc have become routine. As a result, lawyers who can handle IP, media and entertainment law are in very high demand.

If you want to pick up some expertise and knowledge on IP, media and entertainment laws, this is a great time. The market is not saturated and very few lawyers have comprehensive knowledge of these laws. It will definitely go a long way to make your CV stand out, impress the interviewer, get the next promotion, or even to start your own practice.

Relevant Industries :

1. Media

2. Radio

3. Music

4. Broadcasting

5. Sports

6. Fashion

7. Art

8. Digital Marketing

9. Technology

10. FMCG

11. Pharmaceuticals

12. E-commerce

13. Food and Beverages

14. Hospitality

15. Automobile

16. Advertising

Potential employers :

  • Law firms
  • Boutique TMT firms
  • Media and entertainment companies
  • Technology companies
  • TV channels
  • Newspapers
  • Social media
  • Digital media
  • LPOs
  • Production houses
  • Music companies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Heavy advertisers (FMCG)
  • Think tanks
  • Independent litigators

Who should go for Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment laws;

  • Decision makers and officers in IP-driven companies and media and entertainment companies
  • Lawyers looking to specialize in media, entertainment or intellectual property laws
  • Lawyers looking to build a practice in trademark law, copyright law, patent law, fashion law etc.
  • Law students looking to work in IP law firms or IP or TMT teams in big law firms.
  • Law students looking to work with media or digital media companies.
  • Lawyers working for technology, e-commerce, and FMCG companies that engage in a lot of advertising activities.
  • Entrepreneurs and directors who want to master legal aspects of intellectual property, media and entertainment business.

Specific Skill Training Objectives ;

  • Learn how to conduct a classification search and availability search for trademarks and learn how to file an application for registration of the same;
  • Learn how to file an international trademark application through the Madrid route;
  • Learn how to claim the use of a trademark by filing a user affidavit;
  • Learn how to respond to the examination report received by the applicant of a trademark from the trademark registry;
  • Learn about the opposition stages of a trademark application and learn how to draft a notice of opposition as well as a counter-statement;
  • Learn how to draft evidence affidavits in support of the notice of opposition or the counter statement;
  • Learn how to draft a cease and desist notice as a pre-litigation measure;
  • Learn how to draft INDRP and UDRP complaints for domain name infringement;
  • Learn how to draft a rectification/cancellation petition for trademarks;
  • Learn how to draft a trademark assignment agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a trademark licensing agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a merchandise agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a franchise agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a technology transfer agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a work-for-hire agreement;
  • Learn how to file a design application;
  • Learn how to deal with a design application objection and how to apply for cancellation of a registered design;
  • Learn how to draft pre and post-grant patent opposition letters;
  • Learn how to initiate a patent infringement suit and how to respond to the same;
  • Learn how to initiate a trademark infringement suit and how to respond to the same;
  • Learn how to initiate a copyright infringement suit and how to respond to the same;
  • Learn how to initiate a design infringement suit and how to respond to the same;
  • Learn how to seek search and seizure orders as well as preliminary injunctions in IP infringement cases;
  • Learn how to initiate a suit for passing off and trademark dilution;
  • Learn how to draft a DMCA notice to curb copyright infringement over the internet;
  • Learn about authorship, ownership, and statutory rights related to various copyrightable works;
  • Learn how to draft a music distribution agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a product placement agreement;
  • Learn how to draft an artist agreement;
  • Learn how to draft an endorsement agreement;
  • Learn how to draft an agreement for the development of original digital content;
  • Learn how to draft a satellite distribution agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a digital distribution agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a synchronization license agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a music adaptation agreement;
  • Learn how to draft an agreement for commissioned services;
  • Learn how to draft a film distribution agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a showrunner agreement ;
  • Learn how to conduct due diligence for compliance with the regulations with respect to OTT platforms;
  • Learn about the personality rights of celebrities;
  • Learn about fair use under the Indian Copyright Law;
  • Learn how to draft a book publishing agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a book option agreement;
  • Learn how to draft a celebrity management agreement;
  • Learn how to draft agreements for the acquisition of certain rights in a film;
  • Learn how to draft agreements for buying back assigned/licensed rights;
  • Learn about the modes of exploitation of rights accruing out of original audio-visual content;
  • Learn about royalties with respect to certain copyrightable works;
  • Learn how to draft addendums and novation agreements;
  • Learn how to draft a line production agreement;
  • Learn how to conduct a script clearance;
  • Learn how to draft agreements for the exploitation of rights in future works;
  • Learn how to draft agreements for isolated events associated with celebrity services;
  • Learn how to draft co-production agreements;
  • Learn how to conduct different patent searches;
  • Learn how to draft trademark coexistence agreements;
  • Learn how to overcome objections with respect to patent examination;
  • Learn about the initiation of proceedings with respect to patent invalidation;
  • Learn how to protect fashion accessories and clothing;
  • Learn about the overlap between various IP rights such as copyright, design and trademarks.

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