IPR: Emergence of a New Subject in the Field of Law

Advancement leads to new areas for research. With the trend of globalization, nations march towards the path for coping up with the changes. The same theory has been followed up since times immemorial, and it acts as a paved way for the coming generation too. This concept while being linked to the field of law, it perfectly suits to be called as kindred. If we talk about the ancient period, with the change in the civilization, a need was felt for the regulating agencies too to be acted as a sanction; as a result of which developments of law began. So, it’s generally said that law traces its history since times immemorial. But the concept for the protection granted to the individual’s creation, innovation, ideas traces its history back to 15th century but the official recognition for its protection was granted in the year 1883 when its importance of was first recognized in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (IPR) (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) which are currently administered by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which rests upon the principles established in its convention itself.

Though the earliest use of the term intellectual property appears to have occurred in the ruling of Massachusetts circuit court in October 1845 in the patent case Davoll et al. V. Brown, Protection of IPR started to get its recognition values globally in a uniform manner. The protection was accorded under the convention for the reason:

  • The progress and well-being of humanity rest on its capacity to create and invent new works in the areas of technology and culture.
  • The legal protection of new creations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation.
  • The promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life.
  • An efficient and equitable intellectual property system can help all countries to realize intellectual property’s potential as a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being.
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Till the present time period, categories of intellectual property protection is given under following heads:

  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Trade secrets
  • Industrial designs
  • Geographical indications

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Rights accorded under the Indian statutes:

The IPR actually differs under the classification of the things being protected for and even under the protection granted uniformly across the world and because of the national municipal laws prevailing. But an obligation that backs the national municipal laws is that it must be in conformity with the conventional laws dealing with the protection accorded across the world. The basic Rights and penalty provisions dealing with it in India is guaranteed deals under the following acts:

  • The Patents Act, 1970;
  • The Trade Marks Act, 1999;
  • The Copyright Act, 1957;
  • The Designs Act, 2000;
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999;
  • The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000;
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002;
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001.

The Indian Legislature established commercial courts in India by passing a new Act in 2015, which came into effect in 2016, for dealing with the IP disputes. As per the last year report, a total of 727 cases was filed at the Delhi High Court and the Bombay High Court. Out of which, 531 cases were related to trademarks, copyrights (157), designs (14) and patents (42). There were approximately 532 cases in which ex parte injunctions were granted and for 661 cases permanent injunctions were granted. Only 92 cases were settled in the last year.

As a general, IPR can be divided as both negative and a positive right. IP of any form is a legal monopoly granted by national law to prevent others from, for example, using an invention or copying the expression of an idea. Therefore, it is a “negative” right or prohibition. And, An IP license or royalty is a payment to the rights holder for non-exercise of those rights, which can be termed as a positive right too.

Also Read: Commercial Advertisement and Freedom of Speech

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