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All you need to know about Intellectual Property Rights 

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs, which are legally protected through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of IP rights.  

IP allows creators, artists, and inventors to control the use of their creations, receive recognition and financial benefits for their work, and have a competitive advantage in the market. There are several different types of IP rights, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and industrial designs. Each type of IP right serves to protect a different type of creation and provides specific legal protections and benefits. IP rights can be bought, sold, licensed, and inherited, just like other forms of property. The protection of IP rights is essential to promoting innovation, creativity, and economic growth. 

Intellectual Property Rights 

Intellectual Property Rights in India are governed by various laws such as the Patents Act, 1970; Copyright Act, 1957; Trademarks Act, 1999; Design Act, 2000; Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Act, 2001; Semiconductor integrated circuits layout – Design Act, 2000; and Biological Diversity Act, 2002. These laws provide protection to various forms of Intellectual Property such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs, and geographical indications. 


In India, patents are granted by the Indian Patent Office and are governed by the Indian Patents Act of 1970. A patent provides exclusive rights to an inventor or company for a limited period, usually 20 years from the date of filing, in exchange for publicly disclosing the details of their invention. The purpose of a patent is to encourage innovation by protecting inventors and companies from unauthorized use of their invention by others. 

In India, patents can be obtained for any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. However, certain types of inventions are not eligible for patent protection, such as mathematical or business methods, discoveries, and artistic works. 

The Indian Patent Office examines patent applications to ensure that the invention meets the criteria for novelty, non-obviousness, and industrial applicability. If a patent is granted, the owner has the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented invention into India. Patent infringement can result in legal penalties, including monetary damages and injunctions. 


A trademark is a form of intellectual property that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one company from those of others. It can be a symbol, logo, phrase, word, design, image, or a combination of these elements. Trademarks are used to protect a brand and its reputation, and to prevent others from using similar marks that might confuse consumers. Trademarks are registered with national or regional intellectual property offices and are valid for a specific period, after which they must be renewed. Trademarks can be incredibly valuable assets for businesses, as they can provide legal protection and help build brand recognition and customer loyalty. The Trademark Act, 1999 governs trademark registration and protection in India. 


Copyright is a form of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship, such as literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works, from unauthorized use by others. This protection is granted automatically as soon as a work is created and fixed in a tangible form, such as being written down or recorded. The registration is not mandatory however, it may be used as prima facie for the ownership.  

Copyright law gives the owner of the work exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work, and to create derivative works based on it. Copyright also provides a means for enforcing these rights in the event of infringement. Copyright protection typically lasts for the life of the author plus 60 years after their death in India. Copyright laws vary from country to country, but most countries are signatories to international copyright treaties that provide a minimum level of protection for works created in member countries. A fair dealing with any work, not being a computer programme, for the purposes of private or personal use, including research; criticism or review, whether of that work or of any other work; the reporting of current events and current affairs, including the reporting of a lecture delivered in public are not treated as infringement of copyrights as per section 52 of copyrights act. The Copyright Act, 1957 governs copyright registration and protection in India. 


A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament, or any combination thereof, applied to an article by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical, or chemical. The Designs Act, 2000 governs the registration and protection of designs in India. 

Industrial design 

In India, the protection of industrial designs is governed by the Designs Act, 2000 and the Designs Rules, 2001. The act provides for the registration and protection of industrial designs, which refers to the visual appearance of a product, including its shape, configuration, pattern, or ornamentation. 

To obtain protection for an industrial design in India, the owner must apply for registration with the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks, who is responsible for administering the Designs Act. The owner must provide a representation of the design and demonstrate that it is new and original. 

Once registered, the owner of an industrial design has the exclusive right to use the design and to prevent others from using it without permission. The protection of an industrial design lasts for a period of 10 years from the date of registration, after which it can be renewed for a further period of 5 years. 

The protection of industrial designs in India is important for encouraging innovation and creativity in the field of product design. By providing designers and manufacturers with the legal means to protect their creations, the Designs Act helps to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their work and that they have the incentive to continue to innovate and create new designs. The protection of industrial designs also promotes the development of a strong and diverse design industry in India, which contributes to the country’s economic growth and competitiveness in the global marketplace. 

Geographical indications 

Geographical Indications are signs used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 governs the registration and protection of geographical indications in India. Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product to get a GI tag. Some other examples include Kashmir Saffron, Manipuri Black Rice, Palani Panchamirtham in Palani Town, Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan from Mizoram, Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram, and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala. 

Trade secret 

A trade secret is a type of intellectual property that refers to confidential and proprietary information that provides a business with a competitive advantage. Trade secrets can include formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes that are not generally known to the public or competitors. The owners of trade secrets take measures to maintain their confidentiality, such as restricting access to the information and requiring employees and contractors to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

Examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithms used by Google to rank websites. The protection of trade secrets is crucial for many companies, as it allows them to maintain their competitive edge and keep their confidential information from falling into the hands of their competitors. 

Protection of plant varieties 

In India, the protection of plant varieties is governed by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001. This act provides for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers, and the promotion of farmer-led plant breeding. 

Under the act, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) is responsible for the registration of new plant varieties, while the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) is responsible for the administration of the act. 

To obtain protection for a plant variety in India, the breeder must apply for a certificate of plant variety protection with the PPVFRA. The breeder must prove that the variety is new, distinct, uniform, and stable, and that it represents a significant improvement over existing variety. 

The protection of plant varieties in India lasts for a period of 18 years for trees and vines and 15 years for other plants. During this time, the holder of the certificate has the exclusive right to produce, sell, and distribute the protected variety. The act also provides for compensation in the event of unauthorized use of a protected variety. 

The protection of plant varieties in India is important for the promotion of plant breeding and the development of new plant varieties. By providing breeders with the financial incentive to develop new plant varieties, the act helps to promote innovation and the introduction of new crops that are more resistant to pests and diseases, have improved yields, or are better suited to changing environmental conditions. Additionally, the act helps to preserve plant biodiversity and ensures that farmers are fairly compensated for their contributions to plant breeding. 

It’s important to note that these laws are constantly evolving and being updated to keep pace with changes in technology and society. 


At all costs, IP must be taken seriously in a world of scientific, technological, and medical innovation. IP is an asset since it gives the owner a competitive edge over other companies. It is recommended to register IPR to maximize its potential. The term “intellectual property right” refers to a proprietary right on one’s intellectual creations. These rights encourage invention and aid innovators at all phases of business growth, competition, and expansion strategies. It is also important to highlight that IP rights that are registered and upheld give customers the chance to make educated decisions regarding the calibre, security, and dependability of their purchases. 

Manipal University Jaipur’s (MUJ) online MBA program covers all legal aspects of business and intellectual property(IP) that would help you get a thorough understanding of the Intellectual Property Rights. MUJ’s online MBA program is designed by experts to ensure that the curriculum covers all essential concepts of business and management. With top-class mentors and excellent student support services, you can gain exceptional business knowledge and skills that would help you thrive in the highly competitive business world. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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