Intellectual property rights in India

7 Important Intellectual Property Rights in India

Intellectual property rights (IPR) is a topic that is used in every field of education. Whether it’s science, math, medicine or the field of agriculture, we need these intellectual property rights to save our research and data. 

We protect our physical property so that nobody can misuse our property or take any benefit from our property. Similarly, intellectual property rights are given by the law to protect our intellectual property so that nobody can misuse that property or gain profit. 

In this article, on intellectual property rights, we will discuss why intellectual property rights are so important. Advantages and disadvantages of intellectual property rights. The IPR  includes copyright, patent, geographical indication (GI), trade secret etc and we are going to discuss each of them. 

Intellectual property definition 

There are two types of property: physical property and intellectual property. 

Physical property: house, property, jewellery etc.

Intellectual property: intellectual property is an idea, design or new invention done by a person which can be useful to apply or make a new product. 

Intellectual property rights in India

Intellectual property rights are given by the law to an inventor to enjoy the economic rights and protect his invention for a certain period of time. 

Objectives of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

There are the following objectives of granting IPR to an inventor which provides him with some benefits and motivates him for more research:

Increase the performance level

Granting IPR increased the performance of the institution which has invented a new and useful product. It builds the confidence in that institution to research more and more. 

Financial benefit

Intellectual property rights provide financial benefits to the inventor of the intellectual property. It is the prize of his creativity. 

Increasing competition

The granting of IPR to an inventor automatically increases the competition among the people who are also in the field of research. Competition in any field increases the quality of the research which is very useful. 

Fasten the technology

It is the main objective of the grant of IPR because an inventor hides his invention so that nobody can use his invention for their personal profit. But once he gets the intellectual property rights, he also gets the right to protect his invention from other people. 

The benefit to the society

Intellectual property rights give a person certain rights to protect his property from unfair use. It enables the person to introduce his invention to society. The introduction of a new invention in society can give many benefits to the people. 

History of intellectual property rights in India

The first law on Intellectual property was passed in 1474 in Venice. Monopoly rights were given to an artist for the invention. 

Laws covering the intellectual property rights in India

Patent: In India

  • The first patent Act came in 1970. 
  • The First Amendment was done in 1999
  • The second amendment was done in 2002
  • It came into force in India on 20 May 2003

There are different types of patent applications in India which can be filed by the inventor to secure his invention. You can also read the full article on the Examination Process of a Patent Application.

Surrender and Revocation of Patent is one of the important parts given in the Patents Act of 1970 because it describes when and how a patent holder can leave his powers over his invention. 


  • The earlier design act was the Design Act of 1911
  • The new design act came into existence in 2000. 

Trade Mark

  • The old act was Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958
  • The new act is the Trade Marks Act 1999
  • It came into force on 15th September 2003


  • The first copyright act was the Copyright Act in 1957.
  • The Act was amended in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, and 1999.
  • The most recent amendment was made in 2012.

Layout design of integrated circuits

  • The Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design Act 2000.

For the protection of undisclosed information

  • There is no specific act existing for the protection of undisclosed information but generally, it is covered under the Indian Contract Act 1872.

Geographical indication

  • The geographical indication of goods Act 1999.

Protection of plant varieties and farmers rights

  • Protection of plant varieties and farmers rights act 2001
  • It is also known as PPV&FR 2001

Biological diversity act

  • This act provides legal protection for biodiversity
  • The latest act is the National Biological Diversity Act 2003

So now, let’s discuss every part of IPR in detail. 

Trade Secret

When an organisation holds intellectual property that it does not want to disclose to anyone or to make that intellectual property secret, it is called a trade secret. The trade secret includes formula, process or any specific material. 

The best example is the formula of feviquick and Coca-Cola. 

The Role of IPR in the Entertainment Industry

Advantages of trade secret rights

  • The rights given under trade secrets are for an unlimited duration. It means a person can hide his formula process for material for an unlimited duration of time. 
  • There is no need to renew it from time to time. 
  • There is no risk that somebody can improve your product, research or formula because nobody will come to know about your formula, process or material used in the product. 

 Disadvantages of trade secret

  • Due to its unlimited time duration, trade secrets are very costly.
  • If anybody made the same product without knowing the formula, process or material used in the product under trade secret, this trade secret will not give any production for that. The reason being is that the person has invented that product himself without any outside help. 
  • Trade secrets cannot be applied to equipment designs, plant varieties etc. 


A patent is an exclusive right granted by the government to an inventor to use the Monopoly right upon his invention and stop other persons from manufacturing, using or selling that invention. 

After obtaining the intellectual property right, an inventor can give his right to sell, manufacture or use his invention by making a written contract with that person. The inventor can also enjoy a share in the money earned from that person. 

sometimes, the third party tries to make or sell the product without your permission, such condition is called patent infringement

Patents can be granted on the grounds for:

  • A new invention including a new product
  • Innovation or improvement in an existing innovation
  • Process or product of innovation
  • A new concept to create a new invention or product

Conditions required for the patent

  • Novelty:- the invention which is going to take the rights of patent it must be a new invention. It should not be known to the public.  
  • Non-obvious- a new invention should not be obvious to a person who is skilled in any field. It must be non-obvious and new for everyone. 
  • Industrial application- the invention must have an industrial application means the product made by an inventor should have any use for society. The use can be immediate or in the future.
  • Patentability- the subject matter of the patent must comply with the current interpretation of the patent. Some fields are not allowed by the Patent Act. Indian Patent Amendment Act does not allow specific medicine drugs to become patented.

Publication of a Patent Application


Many other categories cannot come under the definition of patent so we take these intellectual properties into copyright. 


Any literary work, dramatic work, musical work, artistic work etc comes under the copyright. 

When the act provides the copyright to a person for his intellectual property the act protects that copyrighted material only. The Act does not prevent copying that Idea for given information in the material copyrighted. 

Duration of the copyright

Any ordinary dramatic or little work patented in the copyright act will be copyrighted throughout the lifetime of the author or artist and 60 years after his death. 

Procedure to obtain copyright

Plant variety protection

Any natural living thing cannot be patented or copyrighted under intellectual property rights. Because in these natural living things no person has given their efforts to make them. Even if you are providing food to an animal it doesn’t mean that you can patent that animal. 

The new plant varieties and animal breeds come under plant variety protection rights. These new plant varieties and animal breeds are the outcomes of the affairs done by the scientists to make that new breed or new varieties. The plant variety protection rights are provided for such new breeds and varieties. 

Plant variety protection
Plant Variety Protection in India

Geographical indication (GI)

Any product or goods which are giving an indication of their original territory or locality is known as a geographical indication. 

Geographical indications cover agricultural goods, natural products, manufactured products, handicraft products and even food products. The geographical indication cannot apply to intellectual properties.

The Geographical Indication of goods act 1999 came into force on 15th September 2003 which provides the rights for geographical indication. 

Any product which is famous by its origin name cannot be copyrighted by a person. 

There are some examples of geographical indication products which are:

  • Banarasi saree
  • Bikaneri Bhujia
  • Darjeeling tea etc.

Duration of geographical indication (GI)

The duration of a geographical indication is for 10 years. But there is no limitation because it can be renewed from time to time by giving specified renewal fees. A person can renew the geographical indication unlimited times. 

Trademark (™)

Trademark is a unique Identity of a company or a product. TM can be known as the brand of the company. The companies spent lots of money and time to develop their brand so it became most important to provide the intellectual property rights for that trademark so that no one can use the name of that company to gain profit. 

Trademarks can include name logos, design websites or any packaging material of the product. It is right of the person who got the trademark that he can use such logo name or design to show his brand power to the people. The intellectual property rights given under the trademark protect his rights and prevent other persons from using his trademark product for illegal gain. 

Industrial design

Industrial design is a process or technique to make a certain product with a new method. Suppose you own a furniture factory and build a new technique to design a sofa-cum-bed with a new technique. Now you want to stop your competitor from using your technique to make the sofa-cum-bed. So you will register your technique with the Industrial Design Act which will give you the right to enjoy that technique to make the sofa-cum-bed and protect your technique from the use of your competitors.

Registration of intellectual property in India

Any person who has invented something new can enjoy intellectual property rights in India by registering them. He can register his patent, trademark, copyright, design, plant and varieties or geographical indication by providing the methods in their Acts. 

Enforcement of intellectual property rights in India

If an inventor finds that somebody is infringing his right given under the intellectual property rights in India, the person can find the litigation in the court. The intellectual property rights in India set out the procedure for both proceedings in civil or criminal cases. Copyright piracy and trademark infringement come under criminal litigation whereas all other infringement comes under civil litigation. 

FAQ related to intellectual property rights

What is the full form of IPR? 

The IPR stands for intellectual property rights which are given to a person who owned and registered the product for a new invention. 

What are the main types of intellectual property?

The copyright, trademark, patent, design, geographical indication and plant variety and animal breeds come under the types of intellectual property. 

Who owns the intellectual property rights? 

Any person who has registered his invention product under the intellectual property laws on the intellectual property rights to enjoy the Monopoly rights from that product and to protect his product from other people.

What is the objective of intellectual property rights?

The main objective of giving intellectual property rights to an inventor is to encourage and motivate him for more research. 

What is a violation of intellectual property rights?

When a person tries to use the product made by another person and that product is already registered, the use of that product by a person who is not the real owner of that product is called a violation of intellectual property rights. According to the rights provided to the inventor, nobody can use the product and invention of a person without his permission. 


The intellectual property rights in India are given for the protection of the intellectual property of an inventor. These rights can be used by the person for financial enjoyment and use. But if a person tries to infringe his rights by misusing the product of an inventor, the inventor has a remedy to file the case in a court of law for the protection of his rights.

Every intellectual property Act provides a different period for the product. An inventor of the product can use his life till the expiry of that period. After the expiry of the duration given by the law, any person can use such a product or process for personal use. The honour of that product will no longer be used for the intellectual property rights given to him after the expiry of the duration. 

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