IPR-Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal field that refers to creations of the mind such as musical, literary, and artistic works; inventions; and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related rights. Under intellectual property law, the holder of one of these abstract “properties” has certain exclusive rights to the creative work, commercial symbol, or invention by which it is covered.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) are a bundle of exclusive rights over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial. The former is covered by copyright laws, which protect creative works such as books, movies, music, paintings, photographs, and software and gives the copyright holder exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time.
The second category is collectively known as “industrial properties”, as they are typically created and used for industrial or commercial purposes. A patent may be granted for a new, useful, and non-obvious invention, and gives the patent holder a right to prevent others from practising the invention without a license from the inventor for a certain period of time. A trademark is a distinctive sign which is used to prevent confusion among products in the marketplace.
An industrial design right protects the form of appearance, style or design of an industrial object from infringement. A trade secret is an item of non-public information concerning the commercial practices or proprietary knowledge of a business. Public disclosure of trade secrets may sometimes be illegal.
The term “intellectual property” denotes the specific legal rights described above, and not the intellectual work itself.
The importance of intellectual property in India is well established at all levels- statutory, administrative and judicial. India ratified the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO). This Agreement, inter-alia, contains an Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which came into force from 1st January 1995. It lays down minimum standards for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in member countries which are required to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights with a view to reducing distortions and impediments to international trade. The obligations under the TRIPS Agreement relate to provision of minimum standard of protection within the member countries legal systems and practices.
The Agreement provides for norms and standards in respect of following areas of intellectual property:
- Copyrights and related rights
- Trade Marks
- Geographical Indications
- Industrial Designs
- Lay out Designs of Integrated Circuits
- Protection of Undisclosed Information (Trade Secrets)
- Plant varieties