Intellectual Property Rights in India: Property Law and Policy

Intellectual Property Rights in India

Focusing on the laws and rights in regards to intellectual properties, this article will increase your understanding by throwing light on topics that illustrate the various types of intellectual property and its main concerns.

What do you understand by the term “Intellectual Property?”

In simple terms, intellectual property is a creation of the human mind which is put into action by giving shape or design on paper or the internet. Examples of intellectual properties include logos, copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and so on.

Intellectual Property

Any brand, invention or design created by an individual which he or she will use it for commercial being can be termed as intellectual property. Therefore, to safeguard the interests of these intellectual property holders, various laws and rights have been published. By this, the uniqueness in creativity is acknowledged, thus preventing anyone else from captivating due advantage from it.

Types of Intellectual Property

Even though Intellectual Properties poses a broad spectrum where one can give shape to their ideas and creativity, yet it can be categorized in the following types:

  • Copyright: This legal term is awarded under the conditions stated in the Copyrights Act. It is given to the creations of individuals working in the literary and artistic field. Copyrights are given to properties such as books, music, paintings, films, sculptures, computer programs, maps, advertisements, technical drawings, databases and so on. The Copyright Act 1957 was passed for providing recognition to individual creations and to protect them from getting pirated. You must be familiar with online piracy of movies, games and software which is quite popular these days on the internet, thus the Indian Copyright Act helps you distinguish the original copy of these properties from the pirated ones.

  • Patents: Any new vital invention in the fields of food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals are granted the exclusive right of being patent under the Patent Act. Under this right, an individual or the inventor is given the privilege to state when and how the inventions can be put to use. Moreover, the Indian Patent Act states that in case of a dispute where an invention is claimed to be invented by two individuals, the first one to apply for registering will be granted patent under the Patent Act 1970.

  • Trademarks: Dating back to ancient times, the trademark has been practised ever since artists started designing sculptures and paintings. Previously, these artists used to put their signature to distinguish their works from the others and such is the scenario with the publication of the Trademark Act 1999. A trademark allows an individual or an agency to distinguish their products from other similar brand made products. It is a sign printed or levied on goods and services determining their authenticity.

  • Industrial Designs: Any shape or structure comprising a unique design with dimensions is given the right to be an industrial design. Articles having ornamental or aesthetic value also fall under this category of intellectual property since it brings out the uniqueness in the creation of the human mind and technology.

  • Trade Secrets: Any vital information in regards to trade and commerce of any individual which is supposed to be confidential is also intellectual property. Any violation of disclosing such information is unlawful and thus, it is an unfair practice. Individuals involved in such violating acts could be heavily penalized for intruding into someone else’s intellectual property.

Thus, by the above-stated types of intellectual properties and the acts passed in accordance to it indicates the lines on which individual can exercise and enjoy the intellectual property rights types by lawful means.

Intellectual Property Laws

Having discussed the various types of intellectual properties and awarding them with recognition, let us now take a closer at the intellectual property laws and what it states. Intellectual Property Law is enforced to secure the legal rights of individuals on their inventions, creations and discoveries. Keeping this in mind the following acts were passed to prevent dispute and disorder among individuals claiming to own similar intellectual properties.

Copyright Laws: Even though different countries exercise their own rules and regulations in terms of passing law and order, rights and laws in terms of intellectual properties are quite similar. Such as the United States copyright laws safeguard authentic works of artists which are both published and unpublished. Under the Indian Copyright Law, similar protection is awarded to works of an individual to prevent disorder and fraudulent activities.

Patent Law: This law is generally concerned with inventions in the technical field. Products such as circuit boards, car engines, heating coils, zippers, can be classified under this law. With new inventions being established now and then, the patent law now recognizes coding algorithms, business practices and genetically modified organisms as patent as well. Thus, any new, useful, natural or processed invention is provided recognition under the patent law.


Q1. When was the Indian Patent Act passed?

Ans. The Indian Patent Act was passed in the year 1970.

Q2. When was the Indian Copyright Act passed?

Ans. The Indian Copyright Act was passed in the year 1957.

Q3. When was the Trademark Act passed?

Ans. The Trademark Act was passed in the year 1999.

Q4. What is the main purpose of Intellectual property law?

Ans. The objective is to safeguard and protect the intellectual properties of individuals from violation and piracy.

Also read: How to check property ownership online in India- A brief guide