IPR- A Perceivable Reality blanketed by Lack of Understanding?

Blog authored by V. Krishna Laasya, a law student from School of Excellence in Law, Tamilnadu Dr. Ambedkar Law UniversityChennai

IPR is that aspect of a human mind that manifests ideas and confers rights on the owner of such intangible assets. IPR is considered a wealth of nation and this can be commemorated by its application as a tool for business and strategic advantage.

Different aspects of IPR include Patent governed by the Patents Act, 1970, Trade Mark governed by Trade Mark Act, 1999, Geographical Indications governed by the Geographical Indication (Protection and Registration) Act, 1999, Copyright protected by Copy Right Act, 1957, Industrial Design protected by the Designs Act, 2000, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 and Semi Conductor Integrated Circuit Layout Designs Act, 2000.

Right from the early exhibition of Chinese pots, usage of Roman bricks, application of merchant and proprietary mark and Bread Marks in 1266, IPR has always been in existence implicitly. Thus, it is important to analyse the inception of IPR to be able to draw conclusions on the current trend[1].

It may also be brought to light that, in the process of increasing the breadth and reach of IPR, the National IPR Policy, 2016 namely Creative India: Innovative Idea is a forefront. This policy enables for the dual fulfillment of both commercializing IPR Innovations and speedy process of Registrations.

International Trends

TRIPS plays the role of an adjudicatory mechanism to govern the growth of IPR through fulfillment of the following criteria

  • Minimum Standards of Protection
  • Enforcement of both Domestic procedures and remedies for enforcement of IPR
  • Dispute settlement and importance of IPR as an industry.

Paris Convention devised protection of IPR by way of diplomatic conferences, treaties and involvement in the enforcement by member countries.

IPR- Awareness v. Understanding

It is to be emphasised that there is a strata of difference between the concepts of understanding and awareness between the application of Intellectual Property Rights and the gap that is not aware by many is the reason for miscommunication and misinformation regarding IPR today.

Social media may be considered the first factor to spring up whenever there is a discussion on the concept of IPR and its influence today. Privacy, infringement upon another’s work etc are concepts that are relatively relatable to the youth and this can be perceived through the reason of awareness of IPR.

People today are aware that there are concepts like Trade mark, Copyright, Industrial Designs in existence. However, they are not sure on what the concepts are in reality and what exactly they constitute. Thus, there is awareness, but no understanding. The reasons for not understanding the concepts are not limited to just one cause, but are in fact a plethora of opinions and ideologies.

As a means to overcome the same, the rectification and education on the difference between miscommunication and misinformation is important and this is the only way practically possible to amend the understanding and explanation on due consideration to the actual idea on IPR Laws.  

Incorporation of the fundamentals of IPR right from the age of 13 in textbooks and emphasis on the basic knowledge of TRIPS and its efficacy in IPR would pull through a long lane of miscommunication among the students and increase positive opinions and views on the topic.

In the recent times, TRIPS has proven to be of strategic advantage and its incorporation into global companies and induction into world markets would do wonders.

Thus, it is important that the global image of IPR is elevated by way of increase in practicability and reliability.

Trajectory of understanding and awareness is totally different and in fact, the concepts are on a different footing altogether. It may also be considered that the various types of intellectual property are used in a difficult manner and this may raise doubts in the minds of many laymen. Level of understanding must be elevated and this may be done by familiarizing everyone with the fundamentals and reducing confusion on the area by narrowing down the language used.


IPR- In the lens of Awareness and Understanding,

[1] For Aspects of Emerging Trends and History of IPR, see IPR in India Emerging Trends by Om Prakash Gupta, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, IPO, India at < http://www.nja.nic.in/Concluded_Programmes/2017-18/P-1048_PPTs/1.IPR%20in%20India.pdf >. Last accessed at 09 Oct 2020.

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