By- Sneha Khandelwal
What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property is the product of the human intellect including creativity concepts, inventions, industrial models, trademarks, songs, literature, symbols, names, brands, etc. Intellectual Property Rights do not differ from other property rights. The owner gets the complete benefit of his idea turned into a product, preventing others from using, dealing or tampering with their product without prior permission. Almost all businesses own some form of IP, which could be a business asset.
Common types of IP include:
- Copyright – this protects written or published works such as books, songs, films, web content and artistic works.
- Patents – this protects commercial inventions, for example, a new business product or process.
- Designs – this protects designs, such as drawings or computer models;
- Trade marks – this protects signs, symbols, logos, words or sounds that distinguish your products and services from others.
Registering intellectual property rights in India
- For patents, individual registrations must be made in India, but for rights other than industrial designs you can apply under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is usually easier and quicker.
- For trade marks, you should register them within India, either through the domestic trade mark system or under the Madrid system.
- For copyright, no registration is required but registering copyrights with the copyright authorities is advisable.
Trademark could be filed online. You can visit the link below to file online.
Also you can get news and updates about IPR from the below link
Enforcing IP rights in India
IP rights can be enforced by bringing actions to the civil courts or through criminal prosecution. India’s IP laws set out procedures for both civil and criminal proceedings, as does the Competition Act. Criminal proceedings do not apply to patent and design infringements. A disadvantage of civil litigation is that you are unlikely to recover large damages against an infringer. However, if you have an identified infringer, it may be advisable to launch civil litigation, because if an interim injunction is granted the infringement can be halted pending the outcome of the case. Damages are routinely awarded in cases of copyright piracy and trade mark infringement (which come under criminal litigation), so less in patent cases.
Some points to keep in mind for infringers to copy your product.
- Think about the design of your product, and how easy it would be for somebody to reproduce it without seeing your original designs.
- When you hire staff, have effective IP-related clauses in employment contracts. Also make sure you educate your employees on IP rights and protection.
- Have sound physical protection and destruction methods for documents, drawings, tooling, samples, machinery etc.
- Make sure there are no ‘leakages’ of packaging that might be used by counterfeiters to pass off fake product.
- Check production, to make sure that genuine product is not being sold under a different name.
Potential problems faced in India and how to deal with them
India’s intellectual property legislation covers every significant aspect of the protection of IP. Although Indian IP law is thorough and generally comparable with European IP laws, there are still significant concerns over IP enforcement.
Some major causes are:-
- Bureaucratic delay, with a backlog of cases at both the civil and criminal courts, means cases can run for five years or more.
- lack of transparency, particularly at a local level.
- Large number of small players infringing IP rights.
How to Avoid problems ?
To avoid problems, we need to be prepared. To make sure that you can anticipate any potential issues, you should:
- Take advice from Indian IP rights experts at an early stage on how to protect your IP – “prevention is better than cure”.
- Consult publications and websites on Indian IP rights and protection in general.
- Carry out risk assessment and due diligence checks on any organisations and individuals you deal with.
- Take professional advice from other experts – for example lawyers, local diplomatic posts, Chambers of Commerce and the UK India Business Council.
- Talk to other businesses already doing similar business in India.
Where to get intellectual property help in India
Whether you’re resident in and doing business in India, or trading internationally with the country, there are a number of professional organisations that can offer you advice and support:
- The British High Commission, New Delhi offers advice on working with India, including details of cultural relations. It provides a full range of diplomatic, consular and business-related services:
- The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) helps and supports British businesses with regard to trade with India
- The Department for International Trade (DIT) India has a range of online information on doing business in India: