Protecting your Intellectual Property in India

Article for Blog Post Writing Competition 2011 | by Rahul Sehra and Saurabh Saini

May 1st, 201112:44 pm


Property has always been a symbol of power and strength for every individual and that is why every individual tries to maximise his property.

A human being is the sole proprietor of his brains and even law gives him a proprietor right in it. Just as John Locke had pointed out, a person has his property, two things:-

1)      The person himself or to say the human body.

2)      The skill of doing labour with his body and the work of his hand.

IP LogoSimilarly, intellect too is an integral part of his personality and it plays vital role in deciding what works his body can engage into or what works his hands would do or in other words we can say that a person intellect is exclusively his own.

Every object whether it is material/ non material, owns its existence to ideas and hence to the origin of ideas, that is intellect. This is also holds further that any property in the generic sense, which can claim a proprietary right, is called Intellectual Property.

Further, if intellect or intellectual works is one’s personal characteristic or property, then anything that is the outcome of this application of his intellect is equally his own. This provides the law to give a person the right to own what he has created or produced. And this proprietor right over a product produced out of his intellect is called Intellectual Property Right.

Intellectual Property (IP) infrastructure, legal and physical, is considered one of the key components of economic infrastructure in a country. Other than the legislations governing IPRs, the infrastructure generally includes human resources, examination system, administrative structure, databases for storage and retrieval of IP information, mechanisms for training, etc.

The scope of IPR has widened in the wake of rising global activity and every country is taking step to protect ONE’S IPR. The major question of concern which rises is that, “Whether our intellectual property is protected in abroad?” which is often asked by companies that are planning to execute some of their core projects abroad. It is important for companies to understand IP rights in India and the best practices that can be followed to protect the IP.

Intellectual Property Administration

Modernization of Intellectual property Administration

IP Offices are resource centres for highly qualified and trained personnel. These offices are repositories of published IP information, especially patent information, containing valuable knowledge about inventions. The IP system in India has been undergoing a paradigm shift from being a reactive system to a proactive, service-oriented and efficient system to cater to the national economic needs and aspirations of the user community.

The Government has taken a comprehensive set of initiatives to modernize the intellectual property administration in the country in view of the strategic significance assumed by intellectual property in the context of globalisation and liberalization of the Indian economy and the increasing administrative steps to create a modern and facilitative set up. The Designs Act, 2000, the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999 have already been enacted to harmonize the Indian IP administration with the global system.

  1. A distinctive logo for IP administration has also been designed and is being used to create a new identity for the modernized IP offices.[[1]]
  2. A website of IP offices has also been launched.
  3. To set up Integrated IP offices in each of the four metro cities so as to house all activities in one building.
  4. 62 new Examiners of Patents have already been recruited and trained by IPTI, Nagpur. Additional 181 Examiners are also being recruited shortly. The staff strength in the Trademarks Registry, Mumbai has also been strengthened through recruitment of 30 Examiners of Trademarks.
  5. Online search facilities have been established and the patent offices have been provided with ISDN facility to ensure uninterrupted connectivity. Similar facilities have also been provided to Trade Marks offices and Designs offices.
  6. Simplification and reengineering of work procedure is also being done to make the system responsive to the needs of the users. Work manuals for IP offices have been prepared to ensure uniformity in the procedure to be followed by different offices. Corporate plans are being developed as per world standards.
  7. Digital database library on CD-ROMs of 1, 50,000 Trademark certificates and Trademarks journals has been created. Over 70,000 patent records and 20,000 design records digitized so far. A searchable database will also be put on the website.
  8. Initial level of computerization has been completed in the Patent, Trademarks and Designs offices. C-DAC has undertaken comprehensive computerization of operations of these IP offices.
  9. Front office software has been installed to generate computerized information about status of patent applications, receipt for filing of patent applications, list of books, journals available in the library, etc.

Initiatives by government to protect ipr

The Indian government has initiated various steps towards Intellectual Properties Rights Protection. Indian enforcement agencies are working effectively and there is a decline in the levels of piracy in India. In addition to intensifying raids against copyright violators, the Government has taken a measures is given below

Quality Policies of Trade Marks Registry (TMR):

  1. Efficient and user friendly approach with a single objective to reach out, listen and solve public grievance across the table and as quickly as possible.
  2. The office will aim to provide qualitative services relating to search, examination, e-publication and post-registration activities
  3. The office will adopt a fair, impartial, responsive, prompt and same day disposal of cases approach (wherever possible) in the handling of complaint received by it.
  4. The office will install and implement a transparent and user-friendly automation systems that will respond positively to the needs of users.
  5. The Trade Marks Registry will provide professional guidance to applicants/users shorn of all legal jargons.

Measures To Strengthen The Enforcement Of Copyright Law:

  1. State governments and other Ministries were regularly requested to lay special attention to ensuring copyright protection.
  2. A Handbook of Copyright Law intended to serve as an information booklet for enforcement agencies as well as the general public.
  3. National Police Academy, Hyderabad and National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics conducted several training programs on copyright laws.
  4. Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council (CEAC) to review the progress of enforcement of Copyright Act periodically and to advise the Government regarding measures for improving the enforcement of the Act.
  5. Time to time to review periodically the progress of enforcement of the Copyright Act.
  6. Special cells for copyright enforcement have so far been set up in 23 States and Union Territories.
  7. Government also initiates a number of seminars/workshops on copyright issues.
  8. SCRIPT for cinematography films, IPRS for musical works and PPL for sound recording.

Other Initiatives

  1. The Government has brought out A Handbook of Copyright Law to create awareness of copyright laws amongst the stakeholders, enforcement agencies, professional users like the scientific and academic communities and members of the public. Free-of-cost copies of the Handbook have been circulated to the state and central government officials, police personnel and to participants in various seminars and workshops on IPR.
  2. National Police Academy, Hyderabad and National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics conducted several training programs on copyright laws for the police and customs officers. Modules on copyright infringement have been included in their regular training programs.
  3. Special cells for copyright enforcement have so far been set up in 23 States and Union Territories.[[2]]
  4. Seminars/workshops on copyright issues. The participants in these seminars include enforcement personnel as well as representatives of industry organizations.

As a consequence of the number of measures initiated by the government, there has been more activity in the enforcement of copyright laws in the country. Over the last few years, the number of cases registered has gone up consistently.


A human endeavour which promotes Social, Economical, Scientifical or Cultural Development of the society must be encourage and the creator or the innovator needs to be rewarded by suitable legal protection for his intellectual creation. Consequently Intellectual Property Right are those legal rights which govern the use of creation of Human Brains. Protection of Intellectual Properties is a very critical element in the offshore business model. There have been many cases where companies have lost their position in the market due to the loss of intellectual property. Understanding the country’s IP Rights and following the best practices described in this paper can drastically reduce the risk of losing the company’s intellectual property. Commitment to protect the intellectual property of a company should be developed and nurtured at all levels of the organization.


[[2]] The states in which special cell are introduced are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal.

Article by-

Rahul Sehra and Saurabh Saini

Students, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab

[Submitted as an entry for the Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011]

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