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Law Service

Intellectual Property

Legislative History

Intellectual Property is one term which includes in itself patent, trademark, copyright, designs and geographical indications. There is no unified legislation in the country which deals with all aspects of intellectual property but there are separate legislations protecting the trademarks, copyrights, patents rights etc. The legislative history of the legislations in this regard is as follows:

Patent - The first legislation in India for Patents was the Act VI of 1856. The Act was subsequently repealed and fresh legislation was introduced in 1859 but this legislation was also repealed. After many continued efforts independent India finally had a law governing the field of Patents and it was the Patents Act, 1970.

Trademark - The Trade Marks Act, 1940 was the first statutory law on trade marks in India. Prior to that trademarks was governed by common law; by section 54 of Specific Relief Act, 1877 and trademark registration was as per the Indian Registration Act, 1908. The Act of 1940 was replaced by the Trade & Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 and this Act was revised and replaced by the Trade Mark Act, 1999.

Copyright - The first Copyright law in India was in 1847 through an enactment during the East India Company’s regime. In 1914, the then Indian legislature enacted a new Copyright Act; the 1914 Act was repealed by The Indian Copyright Act 1957. Designs - The first legislation which dealt with Designs in India was the Patent and Designs Act 1911. The Act of 1911 was repealed by Design Act, 2000.

Geographical Indications - The legislation which deals with protection of GI’s in India is the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999’ (GI Act).

Intellectual Property Law In India

Intellectual Property Law is one of the youngest branches of law and its importance is growing day by day. The intellectual property rights are of crucial importance in today’s competitive world as these set of rights grants one an edge over its competitors. Patent, Trademark, Copyrights are more or less parts of our daily life. The products we purchase today are patented. The signs and logos of company’s displayed in big hoardings all across cities are all trademarked. The computer programs which we use in our daily lives all of those have copyrights. The industrial designs are registered in accordance with the Designs Act. All this is nothing but a clear example of the growing importance of intellectual property rights in our daily lives.

The whole realm of intellectual property rights is growing day by day. Industries and business houses are looking for ways to beat competition and the intellectual property rights which they possess help them in the same. These set of rights which one has in the form of patents, trademarks, copyrights etc determine the economic worth of any entity today. These rights in the form of patents, trademarks and copyrights further guarantee that the creator or the inventor of the products and designs stands to gain from these rights and it further prevents any third party from using these products or designs for their own personal gains.

Products with regard to which you have a patent helps you derive economic benefits from such patented products, the trademark which you own gives your goods and services a distinct identity and you only stand to gain from such an identity, the copyright which you have with regard to the source codes or music programs or a story also helps the creator to derive some economic benefits. “Intellectual property rights” is a wide branch of law and its scope and importance is growing day by day.

Client Segments

Intellectual Property Rights is an area which affects many and not a select few. The services in the field of intellectual property rights can be sought for by:

Inventor, desiring to know if his invention is novel,
Researcher, wanting to collect information about the most recent patents for his research.
Business entity which intends to purchase an invention.

Intellectual Property and its importance is growing day by day, more and more people are understanding the monetary advantages which one can have if one has an intellectual property right. These rights can be in the form of patents, copyrights, trademarks, designs and geographical indications.

Related Enactments

The major enactments in the field of intellectual property rights are:

Code of Civil Procedure 1908 - Civil Procedure Code provides for the civil remedies and enforcement through civil courts.

The Patents Act, 1970 It states the law governing patents in India, whether an invention qualifies to obtain a patent, the procedure for obtaining a patent all are dealt by the Act.

The Trade Marks Act, 1999 The Act lays down the law governing trademarks and all other related aspects related to trademark in India.

The Copyright Act, 1957 The Act specifies the copyright law of India. Copyright is the right given to the authors of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works with regard to the things which they have created.

The Designs Act, 2001 Earlier the issue of designs was dealt with by the Patent Act itself, but in 2001 a specific legislation with regard to Designs was implemented and now industrial designs, its registration and enforcement are dealt by the Designs Act, 2001.

The Geographical Indications Act, 1999 The Act states that law as to what can be registered as a geographical indication and other related aspects of geographical indications are specified in the Act.

The Information Technology Act, 2000 The IT Act 2000 also plays an important role in areas wherein therein is an inter-phase between Information Technology and Intellectual Property Rights.

Rules The above legislations are supported by the relevant Rules there under and these rules are: The Patents Rules, 1972 as amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act of 1999; The Trade Rules, 2001; The Copyright Rules, 1958; The Designs Rules, 2000; Geographical Indications Of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002. Civil and Criminal Rules of Practice The rules of practice of the trail courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court of India set the finalities of the enforcement procedure.