Intellectual property(IP) is the creation of human intellect.
It refers to the ideas, knowledge, invention, innovation, creativity,
research etc, all being the product of human mind and is similar to any
property, whether movable or immovable, wherein the proprietor or the
owner may exclusively use his property at will and has the right to prevent
others from using it, without his permission. The rights relating to intellectual
property are known as 'Intellectual Property Rights'.
Intellectual Property Rights, by providing exclusive rights
to the inventor or creator, encourages more and more people to invest
time, efforts and money in such innovations and creations. Intellectual
property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:-
- Copyright and rights related to copyright:- the rights
of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings,
musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films)
are protected by copyright. Also, protection is granted to related or
neighbouring rights like the rights of performers (e.g. actors,
singers and musicians), producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and
- Industrial property, which is divided into two
- One area can be characterized as the protection
of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks (which distinguish
the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings)
and geographical indications (which identify a good as originating
in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially
attributable to its geographical origin).
- Other types of industrial property are protected
primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology.
This category includes inventions (protected by patents), industrial
designs and trade secrets.
The issue of Intellectual Property Rights was brought on
an international platform of negotiation by World Trade Organization (WTO)
through its Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS). This agreement narrowed down the differences existing
in the extent of protection and enforcement of the Intellectual Property
rights (IPRs) around the world by bringing them under a common minimum
internationally agreed trade standards. The member countries are required
to abide by these standards within stipulated time-frame. India, being
a signatory of TRIPS has evolved an elaborate administrative and legislative
framework for protection of its intellectual property.