Various Types Of Intellectual Property

Various Types Of Intellectual Property

IP, in law termed as Intellectual property. As mentioned with the name, its the property of intellects. The Intellectual Properties are covered by Law.

WIPO plays a very important role for various Intellectual Properties at global level. WIPO provides extensive legislative assistance to developing countries on request, including advice in exploiting the flexibility under international treaties in implementing their obligations. It also provides a database “WIPO Lex ” a comprehensive search tool that enables to search international treaties and national laws on intellectual property.

Some of the type of Intellectual Property covered under intellectual property Law is briefly discussed in this blog.

Copyright : Copyright is a legal term and is covered by law as intellectual property. Its a legal right of the owner of the intellectual property. In a layman’s language the term copyright is the right to copy. This right to copy can only be provided by the original creators of the products. This can only be copied, once a legal rights to copy is provided to and are the only ones with the right to reproduce the work. copyright issues exists every where, Whether you watch a movie,  read a book,  transfer music, or take a photo.

Some of the works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings list is long. Copyright as an intellectual property is always defined for a tenure beyond which the copyright expires and is oped for re use of copy without any legal bindings.

The term of copyright is life time of the author. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Further it is valid for 60 years,  post demise of the author and the date counted from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the author dies.

Patents: Patents are mainly inventions that are protected under the Intellectual Property. Under the Patent, it provides an exclusive right, granted to the inventor for an invention. Once the inventions are patented as Intellectual property, it provides all right to patent owner to decide how the invention can be used by others.Patents encourage the development of innovations and new technologies in every possible field.

In exchange for this right, the patent owner makes technical information about the invention publicly available in the published patent document. International legal framework for patents are the amalgamation of treaties WIPO administers, together with national and regional laws. Patents as an intellectual property is for a tenure. Beyond this tenure the Patent expires and is available publicly for use without any legal bindings.

Patents are further categorised under are three different segment under will all patents fall :

  • Utility: A utility patent protects the creation of a new or improved product, process, composition of matter, or machine that is useful.
  • Design: A design patent protects the ornamental design on a useful item.
  • Plant: A plant patent protects new kinds of plants produced by cuttings or other nonsexual means.

The term of every patent in India is twenty years from the date of filing the patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification. However, in case of applications filed under the Patent Cooperative Treaty (PCT), the term of twenty years begins from the priority date. A Patent renewal fees has to be paid every year or it can also be paid in bulk.

Trademark  A trademark is a sign capable of discriminating goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Trademarks can be  a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.Trademarks are more like the right of belonging.  Trademarks needs to be registered and once its registered for products or services the symbol TM (TradeMark) and SM (ServiceMark) indicates that you have adopted this under an “Intellectual Property Law”.

The history of trademarks date back to stone age, where majority of people could not read or write is when symbols became a logical method of letting people know, what belonged to whom. It started with marks on marking of animals, so a farmer, rancher or lord could distinguish what animals belonged to whom. As commerce enhanced, number of purpose was served by marks. ‘Potters mark’ of Greek and Roman times appeared on vessels to indicate the origin, destination along with the identification of the maker. The ancient Egyptian Artefacts embraced various symbols carved on structures based on religious and superstitious reasoning. The usage of stamps on bricks by the Roman brick maker for the purpose of identification began as early as the 2nd Century BC.

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set term of years.

Trade secrets This is a critical form of protection that can help businesses to gain a competitive advantage. trade secrets are the secrets of a business covered as Intellectual Property Law. Trade secrets are IP rights on confidential information which may be sold or licensed. Trade secrets generally are proprietary systems, formulas, strategies, or other information that is confidential and is not meant for unauthorised commercial use by others.  The unauthorised possession, use or disclosure of such secret information in a manner contrary to fair commercial practices by others is regarded as an unfair practice and is a legal offence and violation of the trade secret protection.

There is no specific legislation in India to protect trade secrets and confidential information. Nevertheless, Indian courts have upheld trade secret protection on basis of principles of equity, and at times, upon a common law action of breach of confidence, which in effect amounts a breach of contractual obligation

Industrial Design These are the intellectual properties that are solely judges by eyes.  The inudutrial designs are recognised as creation new and original features of new shape, configuration, surface pattern, ornamentation and composition of lines or colours applied to articles which in the finished state.

The registration and protection of industrial designs in India is administered by the Designs Act , 2000 and corresponding Designs Rules , 2001 which came into force on 11th May 2001 repealing the earlier Act of 1911.

(GI) refers to an indication used in trade to identify a product as originating from a particular territory.Origin are signs used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, a reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods.



Acts and legislation that broadly covers the Intellectual Properties in India are as follows

  1. Trade Marks Act, 1999
  2. The Patents Act, 1970 (as amended in 2005)
  3. The Copyright Act, 1957
  4. The Designs Act, 2000
  5. The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
  6. The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000
  7. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Act, 2001

The Official website for Intellectual Property in India is