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Overview Of The Intellectual Property Laws of India

Overview Of The Intellectual Property Laws of India

Over almost two decades, intellectual property rights have become an essential part of the world economy. In the 1990s, many countries unilaterally tightened laws and regulations in this area. At the multilateral level, the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights have improved to the level of a formal international obligation thanks to the successful conclusion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects (TRIPS). The intellectual property domain space is vast, including brand designs, copyrights, and patents that have long been of great value. Furthermore, new forms of protection are being developed, mainly stimulated by increasing the stimulus of technical-scientific activities.

The History Of Indian Intellectual Property Law

In 1485, the first system of intellectual property protection was in the form of the command of Venice. In England, around 1623, the statute of monopolies extended the patent rights of technological inventions. Patent laws gained light in the United States in 1760. Patent laws were developed for most European countries between 1880 and 1889. In 1856, the patent law, valid for more than 50 years, was reform and reform in India, called “Indian Patents and Projects, 1911.” After independence in 1970, a complete factor for patent rights was that specific sculptures were just a particular type of intellectual production; Even just four recently protected forms—protection in the form of subsidies for inventive designs, trademarks, and copyrights. In India, copyright was subject to the Copyright Act of 1957; Trademarks under the Trademarks and Freight Act 1958; Inventions under the Patent Act, 1970; Design Laws, 1911. The inception of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and India also signed the agreement on commercial aspects of travel. There were many new rules to protect intellectual property rights to comply with internationally approved obligations. This includes: Designs Act, Bill of 1911, 2000 Amended; Trademarks, trademark law, 1999; Copyright Act, 1957, counts as Copyright Act (Correction), 2012; Recent changes in patent law, 1970-2005. Other herbaceous plants and geographic data were made into new rules. These geographic indicators, work with raw materials (registration and protection), 1999, are classified cultivars and farmers’ rights in farmers, respectively. Intellectual property rights have emerged as a position that has played an essential role in global economic development over the past 15 years. In the 1990s, many countries strengthened this region’s first rule and regulation. At the multilateral level, the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights have improved thanks to the success of the contract on trade aspects of the World Trade Organization. It is a strong feeling that worldwide, in a competitive environment, the protection of intellectual property rights is stronger than the incentives for innovation and revenues for international transport technology.

Common types of IP are:

Copyright - These are written or published works such as books, songs, films, web content, and artwork;

Patents- protect industrial inventions, such as a new product or new business process.

Plans - Protects designs such as drawings or computer models.

Brands - Protect the brands, symbols, logos, words, or sounds that distinguish your products.

Your competitors’ IP services can be registered or deregistered. If you have an unregistered IP address, you are automatically entitled to create your own. Unregistered IP forms include copyright, unregistered design rights, common law trademarks, database rights, and confidential information. Trade secrets about the registered intellectual property should be obtained from a reference until your rights are recognized.

If you don’t do this, others can abuse your creativity.


Copyright protection is available in India for all literary, theatrical, musical, sound recording, and artistic works, and the Copyright Act 1957 provides for the registration of such works. Although the copyright to work is recognized even without registration, it is advisable to have the same registration as it allows for evidence of the copyright in court. A violation of copyright entitles the owner to compensation for damage resulting from orders, payment, and invoices.

The copyright to all literary, theatrical, musical, or artistic works (except photographs) published during the author’s lifetime is fifty years. A change is in preparation to extend the term in favor of Implementer 1 (currently twenty-five years) to fifty years (to meet TRIPS). The difference also targets important copyrighted works related to satellite broadcasting, computer software, and digital technology—the International Copyright Act of 1999 extended copyright to citizens of all WTO member countries.

Trade Marks

The regulating authority for patents is the “Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks,” which is nestled under the department of “Industrial Policy and Promotion.” The police now have expanded executive powers for taking action in the trademark law, which includes the capability to search premises and seize goods suspected of being counterfeit without a warrant.

However, these powers are limited and kept in check by the Trademark Registrar’s opinion, which is mandatory for the police to seek before such a seizure happens.

The Trademarks and Merchandise Act 1958 govern the Trademark Registration Act. A distinctive trademark (as defined) can be registered under this Act. In the event of a trademark infringement, legal remedies, court orders, damages, invoices, and delivery are available of counterfeit labels. In certain circumstances, an “endorsement” action would refer to an unregistered trademark.

To simplify the law and comply with India’s international obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, a new law called the Trademark Law of 1999 has been passed but has not yet entered into force. The new law brought with it significant changes. The most important changes are described below:

  • The term “mark” extends to the shape of the goods, packaging, and color combinations.
  • Service marks: can now be registered.
  • Trademark a trademark application can be refused if it is similar or similar to a well-known brand.
  • Collective marks: The new law enables the registration of marks for associations of persons as “collective marks.” Collective marks are defined as marks that represent the geographical origin, materials, manufacturing process, quality, or other common characteristics of goods or services that are used in commerce or intended for use by members of an association, cooperative, group, or other collective organizations are.
  • Registration period: The previous seven years have been extended to 10 years as per the current law, which can be extended by a further ten years.
  • Multiple Category Registration Application Applicants can submit a single application for trademarks registered in various categories.
  • Trademark infringement: Trademark infringements were punished more severely under the new law.


This subject is covered by the Patents Act 1970. India has recognized patent protection for a product for 14 years. In three areas: food, chemistry, and pharmacy, however, only a 7-year-old invention is recognized. With the signing of GATT, the 1970 Patent Law was amended by the 1999 Patent Law to bring it in accordance with the TRIPS Agreement. The revised law allows all product patents to be registered with a supervisory authority. It also contains provisions for granting Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMR) for five years, or whatever the earliest date, until the patent is granted or refused.

The patent law (2nd amendment) 2002 recently passed by parliament protects new microorganisms. It proposes a uniform period of 20 years from the registration date for all patents. All patent applications must also be given within 18 months of the filing or priority date, whichever comes first.

Industrial Design

The Design Law 2000 protects some designs. The properties of shape, composition, pattern, ornament, line composition, or color applied to an “article” can be represented in two or three dimensions (or both) through a conspicuous industrial process. The Drafts Rule 2000, which came into effect in May 2001, gives applicants the right to register in more than one category, and however, only one category is entered. It also includes a detailed classification of projects according to the international system.

Copyright in the design, under the 2000 Act, would be protected for 10 years from the date of registration.

Geographical Indication

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) law was enacted in 1999 to register and protect geographical indications for goods originating in or produced in a particular region, region, or even region. Such goods include agricultural, natural, or manufactured goods that differ from similar products in terms of quality, reputation, or other characteristics, mainly due to their geographical origin. This particular geographic information can be legally protected by registration. For example, the law facilitates the promotion of Indian products for export and protects consumers from fraud.

Any authority, organization, or association of persons representing the interests of the producers of the products in question can apply for registration of a geographical indication. Registration promptly gives the registered owner or authorized user the exclusive right to use that particular geographical indication concerning the goods for which it is registered and receive compensation for any violation. Of course, it should be noted that not registering does not mean not supporting the legitimate user, including better protection in the injury process.

The validity of bona fide registration of a geographical indication as a trademark is not affected by this law before it enters into force and is considered a trademark under the law.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the various amendments and modifications of the aforementioned intellectual property laws indicate India’s movement towards a new intellectual property rights regime to prepare for global commercial competition.

Provakil’s IPR Management Suite is the best tool you can get for staying updated and managing your intellectual property in one place. If you are keen on knowing the details of how our tool functions, click below, and our community expert will be in touch with you soon.

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About the author
Maitreyee Bapat

Maitreyee Bapat

Maitreyee works as a content writer on the team. She is a lawyer by education and is passionate about creating content for the legal community that is relevant and thought-provoking.

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