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Patent is a statutory Intellectual Property Right which grants exclusive rights to the owner of an invention. To qualify as a patentable subject matter, an invention should be a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application. A Patent is granted to encourage the inventor to disclose the invention in lieu of a monopoly to exploit and commercialize the invention for specific period of time.

The Indian Patent Act confers the following rights upon the Patent owner:
  • For a product Patent, the exclusive right to prevent third parties, who do not have the Patent owner's consent, from the act of making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the product in India;
  • For a process Patent, the exclusive right to prevent third parties, who do not have the Patent owner's consent, from the act of using that process, and from the act of using, offering for sale, selling or importing a product directly obtained by that process in India.

A Patent granted to a patentee shall confer upon such person/entity exclusive rights for a period of 20 years.



In today's world of business and marketing, a consumer has options and alternatives for almost any good or service that it might be interested in. A Trade Mark therefore is used by a manufacturer or service provider to enable its consumers to differentiate its goods or services from that of other third parties. A Trade Mark acts as a source identifier for the goods and services and thus, helps the consumers to locate a particular manufacturer or service provider among the competition that exists in the market.

As a Trade Mark coupled with high quality goods and services, plays a very important role in retaining existing customers as well as attracting future consumers. In this manner, a Trade Mark becomes an important aspect for the financial growth and future development of any business entity. It is an utmost imperative to protect ones rights in a Trade Mark as any lack of enforcement of these rights will allow third parties to take undue advantage of the reputation and goodwill that has accrued upon such Trade Mark at the cost of the original owner of the Trade Mark.

In order to protect ones rights in a Trade Mark, it is necessary to have the same registered. The benefits of Trade Mark registration are manifold. A Trade Mark registration gives the owner of the Trade Mark, exclusive rights to use the mark and the said owner may stop all third parties from using the same mark or any other similar mark which may deceive or confuse the consumers to believe that the goods or services of the third party are associated to that of the Trade Mark owner. A registered Trade Mark further gives a legal recognition to the business of the Trade Mark owner with regard to its products.

A Trade Mark, once registered, will give exclusive rights to the registered proprietor for a period of 10 years from the date on which the Trade Mark application was actually filed. Thereafter, the said proprietor may renew the registration for a period of further 10 years. Trade Mark may be anything from a word, symbol, letter, sound, smell or shape which distinguishes the goods and services covered under it from that of other third parties.


Copyright arises automatically upon creation of a work that falls within the scope of the Copyright Act, and is independent of registration or any formal notification of the existence of Copyright. However, registering a Copyright provides evidence that Copyright subsists in the work and that the person named in the registration is the owner of the Copyright. Registration also constitutes sufficient notice of the existence of Copyright to support entitlement to a claim to damages for Copyright infringement.

Copyright means the exclusive right given to authors, artists, composers etc to do or authorise others to do certain acts in relation to: (i) literary, dramatic or musical works, not being a computer programme. (ii) artistic work (iii) computer programmes (iv) cinematograph film and (v) sound recording. The main intent behind a Copyright is to encourage the creation of new works by giving authors control of their works and to enable them to profit from such work.

The duration of Copyright in unpublished work is perpetual. Copyright protection in published works is for the life of the author and continues for sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. In case of joint authors, the term is 60 years after the death of the author who dies last. For other categories of work such as records, photographs, the period of protection is 60 years from the date of first publication of the work. In case of cinematograph films 60 years are computed from the date of the first public exhibition.


The laws governing the registration and enforcement of Designs in India are provided in The Designs Act, 2000. Design pertains to aesthetic features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament or composition of lines or colours applied to any article whether in two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms. An industrial Design is primarily of an aesthetic nature and therefore, the technical features and functional aspects of the products are not protected under Designs. A Design must be new and original in order to be registrable. It should not have been disclosed to the public anywhere in world and should not be contrary to public order or morality.

The registered proprietor of a Design has the exclusive right to stop others from infringing his registration by making, applying the Design or importing articles bearing the Design. The term for registration of Design is ten years which can be further renewed for a period of five years before expiration of tenth year.


Every resource on the Internet, such as a web page or a file of information has its own address - or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) so than it can be traceable. A Domain Name is basically unique address that can be used on the internet.

With the increase of commercial activity on the Internet, a Domain Name is also used as a business identifier. Therefore, the Domain Name not only serves as an address for Internet communication but also identifies the specific Internet site. In the commercial field, each Domain Name owner provides information/services, which are associated with such Domain Names. Domain Names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. A Domain Name is an identification label to define a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS).

The duration of registration of a Domain Name is for a minimum period of one year. There is no upper limit as regards the maximum duration of registration.


Geographical Indications are signs, which identify a good as originating in a particular territory or a region or locality, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its Geographical origin. It can also be defined as a sign used on goods that have a specific Geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that is due to that place of origin.

Most commonly, a Geographical Indication consists of the name of the place of origin of the goods. In India Geographical Indications is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999. The main use of a Geographical Indication is that it acts as an indication that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its Geographical origin. Any association of persons or producers or any organization or authority established by or under any law for the time being in force representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods can apply for the registration of the Geographical Indication.

A Geographical Indication is registered for a period of ten years and the registration may be renewed from time to time on payment of renewal fees.


India enacted Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer's Right Act (PPV & FR Act) in the year 2001 and its Rules in 2003. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer's Right Authority was established in the year 2005.

Registration of crop varieties under PPV & FR Act 2001 grants breeder an exclusive commercial right for a limited period of (15-18 years depending type of crop species) time and confers legal ownership on the breeder over his developed variety.

In the PPV & FR Act there is a provision of registering of extant varieties within three years from the date of its release in public. The farmers' variety can be registered within five years and new varieties can be registered within one year of its release or before the first commercialization of its propagating materials in the country of origin .

Like institutional varieties, farmers' varieties can be registered in the name of farmer, a group of farmers or community and the farming community can be benefited from the commercialization of the protected varieties and benefit sharing provision in the Act.

The procedure for obtaining plant variety registration is same for Indian citizens and foreign applicants. However, foreign applicant must furnish their address for service in India while applying for plant variety registration.

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