Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. The patents (20 years) under The Patent Act 1970 as amended in 1999, 2002 and 2005, copyright (authors life + 60 years) under The Copy Rights Act 1957 as amended in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999 and trademarks (10 years) under The Trade Marks Act, 1999 and industrial design ( 15 years) under The Design Act 2000, Geographical Indications under The Geographical Indications (10 years) of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 and the protection of plant varieties under The Protection of Plant Variety and Farmer's Rights Act 2001, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
The Controller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marks under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry is responsible for administration of patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications in India. The Ministry of Human Resource Development is responsible for granting copy rights where as plant varieties and farmers rights are administered by The Ministry of Agriculture , Government of India.
By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
To build confidence among the consumers of the product, it is essential to have design registered which is mandatory in marketing strategy of an established brand also. The ornamentation and aesthetic look, configuration and shape of an article can be patented as an industrial design.
According to WTO Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
Protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks (which distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings) and geographical indications (which identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin).
The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and to protect consumers, by enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services. The protection may last indefinitely, provided the sign in question continues to be distinctive.
Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. In this category fall inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets. The social purpose is to provide protection for the results of investment in the development of new technology, thus giving the incentive and means to finance research and development activities.
Intellectual property (IP) is intangible in nature which can be infringed but cannot be stolen like any moveable property. It cannot be occupied like immovable property. It is pertinent to mention that the software of computers in India is treated as literary work which has copyrights and not patented (20 years) as in USA. The implications of this fact needs debate and discussion with the stakeholders for ratification if need be.
To recognize and reward creators/innovators of IP who have contributed in harnessing the intellectual capital and creating an eco-system that boosts creativity and innovation in India. The awards are instituted by the Intellectual property Office, India (IPO) and Department of Public Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India National IP Awards are conferred on the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Day which is celebrated every year on 26th April (World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Convention came into force in 1970) every year since 2009.
IP creation is one of the key motivating factors for building a strong innovation culture. The awards encourage the innovation and management of intellectual property portfolio in such a manner that it influences the success of a business, whether large or small, in different industry segments. It aims to increase the awareness and understanding regarding IP.
We have miles to go in making people aware about IPR in India including Haryana as only 25-30 per cent of total global population is substantially enjoying the economic incentives and moral values through the benefits of intellectual property assets. Remaining 70-75 per cent people even don't have basic information about Intellectual Property (IP) Rights.
To boost research and inventions among scholars, it is necessary to understand the procedures, costs and time taken in filing and getting the patent. Let every institution including Kurukshetra University formulates an IPR policy which is needed to support the great cause of patenting and obtaining copy rights.
There is strong case for the simplification of the procedures, reducing the time and fees for getting the research, idea, design and product patented online in India. For making a real change, every Indian to be empowered with knowledge of IPR. One needs to be clever for protecting creativity. We need to be ready for facing the challenges of tomorrow. The batteries of every Indian including consumers, producers, distributors and traders need to be charged with IPR awareness.
(The writer is Professor of Economics & Nodal Officer, IPR Cell, Kurukshetra University, Haryana. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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