Intellectual Property

Intellectual property has potential to provide a strong base to the start-ups and the entrepreneurs of India. The potential of intellectual property has not been tap yet to the fullest extent of it.  One of the reasons of this could be the Indian culture and philosophy. We find greatness, happiness in giving things we have and hence when it comes to protection we might not be able to take the maximum advantage of it. Do you know that the ten digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 which are the most generalised numbers in use in the world today are called as Arabic numerals? This is a first complete numerical system that was developed in India. In the business transactions of the ancient world this system was adopted by the Persian and Arab businessmen from India. Later on they passed on this number system to their mathematicians andthen to the west. Western world started calling it as Arabic numerals believing that the system was developed by the Arabs. Although it has been widely accepted by the world that the first true zero was developed by the great ancient mathematician Aryabhatta in India, but the oldest intellectual property of the ten digit system conceived in ancient India is still credited to Arabs.

The basis of the intellectual property (IP) is creativity, capacity of rational thinking, intellect, ability of drawing inferences of human brains. In addition to these, one more dimension of IP is originality. The journey of IP creationsgenerally leads to originality and based on the nature of work appropriate protection could be provided. The knowledge or information with individuals could be similar however, because of their unique intellectual ability expression of that knowledge in the form of some creative work would be different. If the expression of the knowledge is original/ new/ inventive/ innovative/ appealing to eye etc. then one can say that this individual has conceived a new IP. Now for the new IP one can receive a legal protection (legal right) against sharing of the IP with the society and the protection is in the form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Hence every IP is an original work whether it is a painting, a photograph, a story or an invention.  Every IP is an intangible property. All of the features of any tangible property such as a real estate are applicable to every IP. For example, IP rights could be sold, leased, licensed, assigned, or gifted as that of any tangible property. It is to be noted that the recognition and/or enforcement of the IP rights is limited to the jurisdiction of the country of grand of that IP right. In other words the IP rights are granted by the Government of a country and the exercise of the respective right is limited to that country. One can apply and register for same IP in different countries. There are various treaties for international IP protection.

IP is a property created by human beings using their knowledge and intellectual ability in the form of some creative work, designs of articles, inventions, symbols or the like for which legal protection is available in this world. IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) can be considered as a basket or a cluster of legally recognised rights given to the citizens of a country for creativity and intellectual ability. The IP rights available in India include patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications (GI). In India, the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) is the Government authority for granting patents, trademarks and designs. The Copyrights in India are granted by the Registrar of Copyrights, New Delhi.
Patents are granted to products and processes for twenty years term from the date of application. A patent gives rights for making, using, exporting, and selling the claimed invention to the applicant or owner of the invention. A trademark is a brand in layman’s language. A trademark is a mark that is capable of distinguishing goods and/or services of one undertaking from that of other undertaking. The trademark protection can be sought by the owner of the mark which can be a logo, symbol, signature, 3-d mark, hologram etc. The design protection is given to new and original designs that can be applied to an article and the term of design protection is limited to 15 years from the date of filing. It is to be noted that trademark and design protection is limited to the class in which the application is made. The trademark protection is generally given for a term of 10 years and it is generally renewable. The classes are decided on the basis of the nature of goods/services/uses etc. Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.The term of copyrights is sixty years plus the life of the owner of the work. In case of owners who are legal entities and not individuals the term is 60 years from the date of the application. 
Intellectual property rights allow the creators of the IP to prevent unauthorised use, sale, duplication of their creation as that of any tangible property like an apartment, piece of land etc. Apart from this the creators of IP like artists, engineers, inventors etc. may get fair compensation or royalty against licensing of their creations. IP can play great role in building knowledge oriented economies like India. IP provides a boost to innovation based start-ups by providing them required protection for considerable amount of time.