Intellectual Property Rights Development in India

Jul 11, 2020


The term Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the inventions or works that are developed as a result of the creative mind of the individual. As these inventions belong to an individual, they bestow the creator with an exclusive right over the use of his/her invention for a certain period of time and that is known as intellectual property rights (IPR).

These rights are enforced by a court of law. There are numerous kinds of intellectual property but the most recognized types are trademarks, copyright, patents, and trade secrets. The motive behind this intellectual property is to promote new and creative ideas, without the fear an opponent stealing the idea or taking the credits for it.


Global Evolution

The history of IP is interesting and complex. In 500 BCE, the Greek state of Sybar is was the first state to authorize its residents to obtain a patent for one year for "any new refinement in luxury". Since then changes have been made and law regarding trademarks, patents, and copyrights has become more complicated but the purpose of the law has always continued to be the same. The laws relating to intellectual property rights are established to encourage the individual's creativity and to ensure the benefits of their original ideas to the creator directly.

With regard to the global scenario, special rights were provided in the building of a model mill to reserve grains in Germany in 1409. In England, complete rights were granted for stained glass to encourage creators. France was the first one to do registrations and inspection of the intellectual property rights before granting complete rights to the creators.


The Statute of Monopolies (1624) and the British Statute of Anne (1710) are the origins of the patent laws and copyright laws respectively, which established the concept of IP[1].The first time word 'Intellectual Property' was used in an article published in the monthly review. The Paris Convention was established in 1883. This International agreement was made to provide security to inventors so their creations were safeguarded even if they were used by any other countries. Then the Berne Convention was created in 1886 to provide safeguards internationally for all forms of inventions including drawing, sculptures, songs, and painting. It was the establishment of the Madrid Agreement which provided extensive protection to the trademarks in 1891. Eventually, in 1893, an international organization was formed combining the offices of the Paris and Berne convention which was name as the 'International Bureaux for Protection of Intellectual Property' to achieve the administrative responsibilities relating to intellectual property at international level which eventually, in 1967 became the office of United Nations known as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Indian Origin:

In India, intellectual property rights were granted since the ancient times.Unique imprints were made on pottery indicating as a trademark during theHarappa civilization.

The Government of India enacted the law to award what was then known as"Exclusive Privileges for the encouragement of invention of new manufactures" i.e. the Patent Act. The invention which was granted the first-ever Intellectual Property Rights in India was "An Efficient Punkah Machine" by a civil engineer, George Alfred De Penning on March 3, 1856. He made the first application for patent in India in the year 1856 and submitted the specifications regarding his creation along with a diagram illustrating it's working on September 2, 1856.


Indian Links in a Global Perspective

There is no such International Convention on which India is not part, it is the western advancement of IPR laws that profoundly impact the law of IPR in India.All the rights and duties are enforceable on the basis of reciprocity only, no member of the convention can enforce rights and obligations unilaterally. Hence,if one country wants to pass its own laws on IP then it should be in the interest of all the nations. The first-ever Indian Law relating to IPR was legislated in the year of 1884, The Indian Trade and Merchandise Marks Act,1884. In 1999, the Government of India enacted an important law based on the safety of IPR in consensus with international policies. These are -

1. The Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999 which amended the Patent Act, 1970 which     establishment the mailbox system to file patents and authorize exclusive     commerce rights for five years.

2. The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1999, the President off India signed it.

3. The Trademarks Acts, 1999 which was put in the place of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Acts, 1958.

4. The Industrial design Act, 2000 which was in the place of The Design Act, 1911.

5. The sui generis law was approved and titled as the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.[2]

6. The Patents (Second Amendment), 1999 further to amend the Patents Acts of 1970 in adherence to the TRIPS.