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INVESTMENT

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

General

The importance of intellectual property in India is well established at all levels- statutory, administrative and judicial. India ratified the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This Agreement, inter-alia, contains an Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which came into force from 1st January 1995. It lays down minimum standards for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in member countries which are required to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights with a view to reducing distortions and impediments to international trade. The obligations under the TRIPS Agreement relate to provision of minimum standard of protection within the member countries legal systems and practices.

The Agreement provides for norms and standards in respect of following areas of intellectual property

  • Patents
  • Trade Marks
  • Copyrights
  • Geographical Indications
  • Industrial Designs

Patents

The basic obligation in the area of patents is that, invention in all branches of technology whether products or processes shall be patentable if they meet the three tests of being new involving an inventive step and being capable of industrial application. In addition to the general security exemption which applied to the entire TRIPS Agreement, specific exclusions are permissible from the scope of patentability of inventions, the prevention of whose commercial exploitation is necessary to protect public order or morality, human, animal, plant life or health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment. Further, members may also exclude from patentability of diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods of the treatment of human and animals and plants and animal other than micro-organisms and essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals. more...

The TRIPS Agreement provides for a minimum term of protection of 20 years counted from the date of filing.

India had already implemented its obligations under Articles 70.8 and 70.9 of TRIP Agreement.

To view Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP) Agreement Click here

Acts related to Patents

The Patents Act, 1970

The Patents (amendment) Act, 1999

The Patents (amendment) Act, 2002

The Patents (amendment) Act, 2005

Rules pertaining to Patents

The Patents Rules 2003

The Patents (Amendment) Rules 2005

The Patents (Amendment) Rules 2006

Trade Marks

Trade marks have been defined as any sign, or any combination of signs capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. Such distinguishing marks constitute protectable subject matter under the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. The Agreement provides that initial registration and each renewal of registration shall be for a term of not less than 7 years and the registration shall be renewable indefinitely. Compulsory licensing of trade marks is not permitted.

Keeping in view the changes in trade and commercial practices, globalisation of trade, need for simplification and harmonisation of trade marks registration systems etc., a comprehensive review of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 was made and a Bill to repeal and replace the 1958 Act has since been passed by Parliament and notified in the Gazette on 30.12.1999. This Act not only makes Trade Marks Law, TRIPS compatibility but also harmonises it with international systems and practices. Work is underway to bring the law into force. more...

Trade Marks Acts

Trade Marks Act, 1999

New Elements in the Trade Marks Act, 1999

 

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