Intellectual Property Rights IPR in India

Intellectual Property Rights IPR in India

In general sense, Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind (human intellect), such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images. Consequently, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are like any other property right. They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work or investment in a creation. These rights are also outlined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

International agreements ratified by India:

India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and follows the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. Additionally, India is also a member of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the body responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property rights throughout the world. Consequently, India is also a member of the following important WIPO-administered International Treaties and Conventions relating to IPRs:

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks- Madrid Protocol
  • Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits
  • Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol
  • Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
  • Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities.

However, India is still not a signatory to WIPO’s – The Hague agreement concerning the International Registration of ‘Industrial Design’ 1925. (Ref)

IPR in India:

Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, is the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee the implementation and future development of IPRs in India.

The ‘Cell for IPR Promotion & Management (CIPAM)’, setup under the aegis of DIPP, is the single point of reference for implementation of the objectives of the National IPR Policy.

National IPR Policy

  • Union Cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy on 12th May, 2016
  • Theme: “Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत”
  • The Policy lays down the following seven objectives:
    1. IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion – To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.
    2. Generation of IPRs – To stimulate the generation of IPRs.
    3. Legal and Legislative Framework – To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.
    4. Administration and Management – To modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.
    5. Commercialisation of IPRs – Get value for IPRs through commercialisation.
    6. Enforcement and Adjudication – To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.
    7. Human Capital Development – To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.
  • The Policy which is in compliance with WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) agreement on TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of IPRs)

Types of IPR granted in India:

In India, IPR is granted on following intellectual properties:

  • Patent
  • Design
  • Trade mark
  • Copyright
  • Geographical Indications
  • Semiconductor IC Layout-Design
  • Plant Variety Protection



A patent is granted for an invention which is a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application.

Administration of Patent the IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks


  • The Patents Act, 1970 (as amended in 2005)


As per IPR, a design refers only to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, composition of colour or line or a combination, applied to any article, whether two or three dimensional or in both forms by any industrial process or means which, in the finished article, appeal to and are judged solely by the eye.

Administration of Design IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks


  • Designs Act 2000

Trade Mark:

A trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. A trademark can be a sign, words, letters, numbers, drawings, pictures, emblem, colours or combination of colours, shape of goods, graphic representation or packaging or sound or any combination of the above as applied to goods or services.

Administration of Trade Mark IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks


  • Trade Marks Act 1999 (as amended in 2010)

Geographical Indications:

A geographical indication identifies agricultural or natural or manufactured goods as originating or manufactured in the territory of a country or region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and, in case where such goods are manufactured goods, one of the activities of either the production or processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region, or locality, as the case may be.

Administration of Geographical Indications IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks


  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999

Geographical Indications of Rajasthan:


Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.

Administration of Copyright IPR:

  • Registrar of Copyrights, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Previously copyright came under ministry of Human Resource Development(Ref).


  • The Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended in 2012)
  • The Copyright Rules, 2013 was notified on 14 March, 2013 replacing the old Copyright Rules, 1958.

Semiconductor Integrated Circuits (IC’s) Layout-Design:

The aim of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act 2000 is to provide protection of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in the area of Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Administration of Semiconductor IC Layout Design IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry


  • Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000

Plant Variety Protection:

Protection granted for plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.

Administration of Plant Variety Protection IPR:

  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Authority


  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001

Further Reading:


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