India is a country of the new generation. It is venerated for having the most brilliant of thinkers since time immemorial such as Aryabhatta, Chanakya, Rabindranath Tagore, etc. which have produced unparalleled knowledge and wisdom. But great knowledge requires even greater protection of said knowing, which is modernly known as “intellectual property”. Intellectual property is a category of property that includes intangible creations of human intellect. The best known types of intellectual properties are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets which are considered as industrial property. The creator or the inventor of such properties is entitled to rights to these properties which has only been recently recognised and thus, the protection of these rights is of recent origin. Since the past few centuries, the inherence of the creation of these properties has become immensely cornerstone to the functioning of society because the developments over the past recent centuries have been essential as well as transformative.

These rights are protected by the IPR laws of India (the Copyrights Act of 1957, the Trade Marks Act of 1999, etc.) as well as some International conventions (WIPO Berne Convention of 1928, Phonograms Convention of 1975, etc.).


Intellectual property is any creation of the human mind. Like tangible property owners have rights to their properties to protect them from misappropriation, theft, false claiming of the propriety, etc. thus, it necessitates that these “created properties” have value and need to be protected just like tangible properties. Till now we have established that IPRs are very essential but one might ask: What are the major goals of IPRs? IPRs aim to grant exclusive economic rights to a creator, inventor, licensee and assignee. The protection of economic interests through the employment of intellectual property such as a revolutionary invention (a chemical process, a machine, a medical procedure, etc.) is essential in today’s world since most of the wrongful proceeding are aimed at infringing the economic rights of the creator, inventor, licensee or assignee and are misappropriated to benefit own monetary interests. The IPRs also aim to prevent the exploitation of such intellectual properties.


There are 4 major types of Intellectual Property Rights: Copyrights, Trademarks, Utility Patents and Trade Secrets.

  1. Copyrights: Upon creation, original works are protected by copyrights but registration grants enhanced rights. The subject matter of copyrights is the literary, dramatic, and musical or artistic work, a cinematograph film and a sound recording. Literary works includes computer programmes, tables and compilations including computer databases. In case of infringement, owners can seek legal recourse. The object of this right is not the material thing produced, but the form impressed upon it by the maker. The picture, in abstract sense of the artistic form made by visible by that paint and canvas, belongs to him who made it.
  2. Trade Marks: Trademark makes a business recognisable to customers. Trademark is anything which identifies the origin of the goods or services. It can be a name, symbol, logo, colour, sound, etc. Trademark symbolises the value or goodwill associated with the goods and its specific source. One cannot use a deceptive mark / logo that is similar to one of its competitor as it could lead to customer confusion. It helps consumers to identify products with desirable attributes quickly. It encourages firms to improve quality if their product. Compulsory licensing of trademarks Competition policies are forcing companies to license their trademark may result in shoddy work at premium price associated with the brand. This will also ruin the reputation associated with the brand. This would affect the firm’s incentive to provide consumers with high quality goods.
  3. Utility Patents: It is important to note that one has to have a new or novel invention in order to be able to get a patent, which means that one cannot patent an invention that is already on the market. The subject-matter of a patent-right is an invention. He whose skill or labour produces the idea of a new process, instrument or manufacture has that idea as his own in law. He alone is entitled to use it and to draw from it the profit inherent in it.
  4. Trade Secrets: Since trade secrets are not public, they don’t qualify for official intellectual property protection. Trade secrets can be punished in court, as long as one has evidence as to the safeguards resorted to protect them.

Thus, the IPRs are essential to promote the rights of the creative individuals amongst us who have created something unique. These properties are to be deemed equivalent as any other tangible property and must have the equivalent value and regard as any other since they constitute their own identity. As Thomas Jefferson had famously remarked, “He who receives an idea from me, receives instructions himself without lessening mine; as he also lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

Author: Keshav Jindal, Intern


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