The escalating technological growth has resulted in fiercely competitive markets for all types of products and services. Enterprises now thrive not only on the traditional factors of production (land, labour and capital) but also require cutting edge knowledge in a diverse range of relevant fields – technical, financial, and commercial. This creates an imperative for companies to develop, amongst other things, the ability to create, identify, protect, use, share and manage self-created or acquired intellectual property rights (IPR) assets as an integral part of their business strategies to realise maximum value of their inputs, processes and outputs.
IPR refers to intangibles that arise and derive their intrinsic value out of innovative or creative activities. Faster pace of innovation and strategic use and effective management of IPRs is critical for developing an internationally competitive business in any industry. With globalization, IPR has emerged as an important tool for socio-economic development and has become a key determinant of the economic relations between nations. In the last few years, IPR laws in India have been revised to address the emerging needs of business and industry and to comply with international obligations, such as those under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
This elementary IPR Primer attempts to present an overview of IPR issues/procedures relevant for an Indian entity or a foreign investor in India, viz.
- Identification and protection of IPR
- IPR infringement and remedies
- Adherence to policy and other statutes
- Domain Name protection
- Transfer of Technology and IPR
- A few Do’s and Don’ts
IPRs in India are keeping pace with the fast-tracked development of technology and the changing international IP laws. India is witnessing a transition in becoming a market economy and a complete overhaul of laws, policies, and market environment that complement the IP system. To strengthen competitiveness in market, the companies should work in sync with the technological advancement of India and world, to set up adequate IP protection system, to put in place IP policy support system, to allocate IP management to various internal departments for technology, economy and trade, to foster awareness of IP and its protection among employees. In knowledge-based or innovation-driven companies, IPR is a dynamic tool for wealth creation and the development of trade which makes it essential to have a pragmatic system for protection and safeguard of IP.
The IP offices in India have started the process of digitization of intellectual property files. Though, the IPR protection and enforcement in India is relatively weak, including the issues related to data protection. The laws in regard to trade marks and patents have undergone a sea change with the introduction of legislation and amendments conforming to TRIPS. Along with conformity and internationally recognized principles, the laws have brought about enforcement mechanisms which provide remedial measures and stringent action against infringement. The legal scenario on the ground and in the courts is moving towards enforcement at a rapid pace. However, for all the laws, legislations, regulations, directions and policy to come forth and speak in the same voice towards the upholding of the sanctity of IPRs is going to take some time. The IPR regime in India is moving in the right direction and shall reach there sooner rather than later.