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What is Intellectual Property Protection?

Intellectual property includes works, processes, symbols and designs that were created or are owned by a company. This can include logos and slogans, and written documents or artistic works. To enforce the ownership and right to use intellectual property, the business owner must register it at the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the United States Copyright Office, depending on the type of property a business wants to protect.

 

Registration of Intellectual Property Rights

 

The intellectual property rights in Inida, pertaining to trademarks and patents are controlled by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Copyrights are handled by the Copyright Office, Copyright Societies, Government of India. Application must be made to the concerned authorities , based on the type of intellectual property right to be registered, in the prescribed form.



CopyrightTrademarkPatentProvisional Patent
Applies toPhotographs, movies, music, software codeWords, logos, slogansInventions & ideasInventions & ideas
ApplicantsArtists & creative professionalsBusiness ownersInventors & designersInventors & designers
Ownership without RegistrationYes, but rights are limitedYes, but rights are limitedNoNo
ValidityLifetime of the author, plus 60 yearsIndefinite, but to be renewed every 10 years20 years1 year

Copyright

Trademark Registration
  • Copyright is a form of legal right and an Intellectual Property protection, given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. The Copyright Act, 1957 governs the registration of Copyright in India. Copyright Registration provides a safeguard to insure that the creativity is rewarded and intellectual work is protected.

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Patent

  • A patent is a right granted to an individual or enterprise by the government that excludes others from making, using, selling or importing the patented product or process without prior approval. In exchange for this right, the applicant must fully disclose the minutiae of the invention. A patent for a product or process that proves successful can give its owner a serious competitive advantage over rivals.

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Trademark

  • A trademark is any unique expression related to a product or service that distinguishes it from others. This expression could be a word, slogan, photograph, logo, graphic, colour combination, sound or even smell; however, most businesses are only looking for a brand name registration or logo registration. Owners of trademarks have exclusive rights to their use under the categories they are registered in.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?
A IPR is a general term covering patents, copyright, trademark, industrial designs, geographical indications, layout design of integrated circuits, undisclosed information (trade secrets) and new plant varieties.
2. What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of legal right and an Intellectual Property protection, given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
3. How is Copyright different than Patent or a Trademark?
Copyrights protect the expression of ideas. Copyright will not protect the process through which a particular work was created or the use of information within it (instructions, etc.). On the other hand Patents protect inventions such as new processes, machines, or chemicals. The central idea is that patents protect ideas, not just expressions of them. Further, Copyright and Trademark both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as its logo. 
4. What does copyright cover?

  1. Literary, dramatic and musical work. Computer programs/software are covered within the definition of literary work;
  2. Artistic work
  3. Cinematographic films which include sound track and video films
  4. Record-any disc, tape, perforated roll or other device.

5. What is the term of a copyright?

  • If published within the life time of the author of a literary work, the term is for the life time of the author plus 60 years.
  • For cinematography films, records, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous publication, works of government and international agencies, the term is 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the work was published.
  • For broadcasting, the term is 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year, in which the broadcast was made.

6. What is Patent?
A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, usually twenty years. The patent rights are granted in exchange for a detailed public disclosure of the invention.

7. Does Indian Patent give protection worldwide?
Patent protection is territorial right and therefore it is effective only within the territory of India. However, filing an application in India enables the applicant to file a corresponding application for same invention in convention countries, within or before expiry of twelve months from the filing date in India. Therefore, separate patents should be obtained in each country where the applicant requires protection of his invention in those countries. There is no patent valid worldwide.

8. What can be Patented?
An invention relating either to a product or process that is new, involving inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented. However, it must not fall into the categories of inventions that are non- patentable under section 3 and 4 of the Act.

9. Who can apply for a Patent?
A patent application can be filed either by true and first inventor or his assignee, either alone or jointly with any other person. However, legal representative of any deceased person can also make an application for patent.

10. What are the criteria of patentability?
An invention to become patentable subject matter must meet the following criteria –

  • It should be novel.
  • It should have inventive step or it must be non-obvious
  • It should be capable of Industrial application.
  • It should not fall within the provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970.

11. What is a Provisional Specification?
Indian Patent Law follows first to file system. Provisional specification describes the nature of the invention to have the priority date of filing of the application in which the inventive idea has been disclosed. It must be followed by a complete specification describing the details of the invention along with a statement of claims within 12 months after filing of the provisional application. If the complete specification is not filed within the prescribed period, the application is treated as deemed to have been abandoned
12. What is the Term of Patent?

Term of every patent in India is 20 years from the date of filing of patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification. However, in case of applications filed under PCT the term of 20 years begins from International filing date.

13. What is Trademark?

Generally, Trademark refers to a “brand” or “logo”. Trademark gives a company/business separate identity. Trademarks indicate the origin as well as the quality of the goods. Some popular trademarks include Coca Cola, HP, Canon, Adidas, etc.

14. What can be used as Trademark?
Trademarks may be a word or a combination of words, letters and numerals. They may also consist of drawings, symbols, 3D signs such as shape and packaging of goods, or colours used as a distinguishing feature.

16. Can trademarks be renewed?

Yes. A trademark is initially registered for a period of 10 years, calculated from the date of filing of the application. It can be renewed every 10 years by paying the requisite fees.

17. What is the meaning of Service in the Trademark Act 1999?

Service means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of services in connection with business of any industrial or commercial matters such as banking, communication, education, financing, insurance, chit funds, real estate, transport, storage, material treatment, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, boarding, lodging, entertainment, amusement, construction, repair, conveying of news or information and advertising.

18. What is the term of a registered trademark?

The initial registration of a trademark shall be for a period of ten years but may be renewed from time to time for an unlimited period by payment of the renewal fees.

19. What is the process of registration of a trademark?

The process of registration of the trademark consists of the following steps:

  • SEARCH: Conduct a trademark availability search
  • FILING: Trademark application to be filed with Trademark office
  • EXAMINATION: Trademark Office examines the registrability of the application
  • PUBLICATION: Acceptance of application by the Registrar is published in Trademark Journal
  • OPPOSITION: After publishing of applications in the Trademark Journal, third party(ies) can oppose the registration within 4 months in a prescribed format.
  • Applicant has the option to provide justification to the Trademark Office for such opposition
  • NO OPPOSITION: Trademark is entitled for registration