• 12.1 Intellectual Property Rights According To World Trade Organization
  • 12.1.1What are Intellectual Property Rights?
    • Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of

(i) 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, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
  • Also protected through copyright and related (sometimes referred to as “neighbouring”) rights are the rights of  performers (e.g. actors, singers and musicians), producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and broadcasting organizations. The main social purpose of protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work.

(ii) Industrial property.

  • 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).
  • The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and to protect consumers, by enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services. The protection may last indefinitely, provided the sign in question continues to be distinctive.
  • Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. In this category fall inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade
  • The social purpose is to provide protection for the results of investment in the development of new technology, thus giving the incentive and means to finance research and development activities.
  • A functioning intellectual property regime should also facilitate the transfer of technology in the form of foreign direct investment, joint ventures and
  • The protection is usually given for a finite term (typically 20 years in the case of patents).
  • While the basic social objectives of intellectual property protection are as outlined above, it should also be noted that the exclusive rights given are generally subject to a number of limitations and exceptions, aimed at fine-tuning the balance that has to be found between the legitimate interests of right holders and of users.

12.1.2  Intellectual property: protection and enforcement

  • The WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), negotiated in the 1986 – 94 Uruguay Round, introduced intellectual property rules into the multilateral trading system for the first time.

Origins: into the rule-based trade system

  • Ideas and knowledge are an increasingly important part of trade. Most of the value of new medicines and other high technology products lies in the amount of invention, innovation, research, design and testing involved. Films, music recordings, books, computer software and on-line services are bought and sold because of the information and creativity they contain, not usually because of the plastic, metal or paper used to make them. Many products that used to be traded as low- technology goods or commodities now contain a higher proportion of invention and design in their value — for example brandnamed clothing or new varieties of plants.
  • Creators can be given the right to prevent others from using their inventions, designs or other creations — and to use that right to negotiate payment in return for others using them. These are “intellectual property rights”. They take a number of forms. For example books, paintings and films come under copyright; inventions can be patented; brandnames and product logos can be registered as trademarks; and so on. Governments and parliaments have given creators these rights as an incentive to produce ideas that will benefit society as a
  • The extent of protection and enforcement of these rights varied widely around the world; and as intellectual property became more important in trade, these differences became a source of tension in international economic relations. New internationally-agreed trade rules for intellectual property rights were seen as a way to introduce more order and predictability, and for disputes to be settled more
  • The Uruguay Round achieved that. The  WTO’s TRIPS Agreement is an attempt to narrow the gaps in the way these rights are protected around the world, and to bring them under common international rules. It establishes minimum levels of protection that each government has to give to the intellectual property of fellow WTO members. In doing so, it strikes a balance between the long term benefits and possible short term costs to society. Society benefits in the long term when intellectual property protection encourages creation and invention, especially when the period of protection expires and the creations and inventions enter the public domain. Governments are allowed to reduce any short term costs through various exceptions, for example to tackle public health problems. And,  when there are trade disputes over intellectual property rights, the WTO’s dispute settlement system is now available.

The agreement covers five broad issues :

  • how basic principles of the trading system and other international intellectual property agreements should be applied
  • how to give adequate protection to intellectual property rights
  • how countries should enforce those rights adequately in their own territories
  • how to settle disputes on intellectual property between members of the WTO
  • special transitional arrangements during the period when the new system is being

Basic principles: national treatment, MFN, and balanced protection

  • As in GATT and GATS, the starting point of the intellectual property agreement is basic principles. And as in the two other agreements,  non- discrimination   features prominently: national treatment (treating one’s own nationals and foreigners equally), and most- favoured nation treatment (equal treatment for nationals of all trading partners in the WTO). National treatment is also a key principle in other intellectual property agreements outside the WTO.
  • The TRIPS Agreement has an additional important principle: intellectual property protection should contribute to technical innovation and the transfer of technology. Both producers and users should benefit, and economic and social welfare should be enhanced, the agreement says.

How to protect intellectual property: common ground-rules

  • The second part of the TRIPS agreement looks at different kinds of intellectual property rights and how to protect them. The purpose is to ensure that adequate standards of protection exist in all member countries. Here the starting point is the obligations of the main international agreements of  the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)  that already existed before the WTO was created:
  • the Paris Convention  for the Protection of Industrial Property (patents, industrial designs, etc) the Berne Convention for the Protection    of   Literary and

Artistic Works (copyright).

  • Some areas are not covered by these conventions. In some cases, the standards of protection prescribed were thought inadequate. So the TRIPS agreement adds a significant number of new or higher standards.

12.1.3  Copyright

  • The TRIPS agreement ensures that computer programs will be protected as literary works under the Berne Convention and outlines how databases should be protected.
  • It also expands international copyright rules to cover rental rights. Authors of computer programs and producers of sound recordings must have the right to prohibit the commercial rental of their works to the public. A similar exclusive right applies to films where commercial rental has led to widespread copying, affecting copyright-owners’ potential earnings from their films.
  • The agreement says performers must also have the right to prevent unauthorized recording, reproduction and broadcast of live performances (bootlegging) for no less than 50 years. Producers of sound recordings must have the right to prevent the unauthorized reproduction of recordings for a period of 50 years.

12.1.4  Trademarks

  • The agreement defines what types of signs must be eligible for protection as trademarks, and what the minimum rights conferred on their owners must be. It says that service marks must be protected in the same way as trademarks used for goods. Marks that have become well-known in a particular country enjoy additional protection.

12.1.5 Geographical indications

  • A place name is sometimes used to identify a product. This “geographical indication” does not only say where the product was made. More importantly, it identifies the product’s special characteristics, which are the result of the product’s
  • Well-known examples include “Champagne”, “Scotch”, “Tequila”, and “Roquefort” cheese. Wine and spirits makers

are particularly concerned about the use of place-names to identify products, and the TRIPS Agreement contains special provisions for these products. But the issue is also important for other types of goods.

  • Using the place name when the product was made elsewhere or when it does not have the usual characteristics can mislead consumers, and it can lead to unfair competition. The TRIPS Agreement says countries have to prevent this misuse of place names.
  • For wines and spirits, the agreement provides higher levels of protection, i.e. even where there is no danger of the public being misled.
  • Some exceptions are allowed, for example if the name is already protected as a trademark or if it has become a generic term. For example, “cheddar” now refers to a particular type of cheese not necessarily made in Cheddar, in the UK. But any country wanting to make an exception for these reasons must be willing to negotiate with the country which wants to protect the geographical indication in question.
  • The agreement provides for further negotiations in the WTO to establish a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines. These are now part of the Doha Development Agenda and they include spirits. Also debated in the WTO is whether to negotiate extending this higher level of protection beyond wines and

12.1.6  Industrial designs

  • Under the TRIPS Agreement, industrial designs must be protected for at least 10 years. Owners of protected designs must be able to prevent the manufacture, sale or importation of articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy of the protected

12.1.7  Patents

  • The agreement says patent protection must be available for inventions for at least 20 Patent protection must be available for both products and processes, in almost all fields of technology. Governments can refuse to issue a patent for an invention if its commercial exploitation is prohibited for reasons of public order or morality. They can also exclude diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods, plants and animals (other than microorganisms), and biological processes for the production of plants or animals (other than microbiological processes).
  • Plant varieties, however, must be protectable by patents or by a special system (such as the breeder’s rights provided in the conventions of UPOV — the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants).
  • The agreement describes the minimum rights that a patent owner must enjoy. But it also allows certain exceptions. A patent owner could abuse his rights, for example by failing to supply the product on the market. To deal with that possibility, the agreement says governments   can  issue “compulsory licences”, allowing a competitor to produce the product or use the process under licence. But this can only be done under certain conditions aimed at safeguarding the legitimate interests of the patent-holder.
  • If a patent is issued for a production process, then the rights must extend to the product directly obtained from the process. Under certain conditions alleged infringers may be ordered by a court to prove that they have not used the patented
  • An issue that has arisen recently is how to ensure patent protection for pharmaceutical products does not prevent people in poor countries from having access to medicines — while at the same time maintaining the patent system’s role in providing incentives for research and development into new medicines. Flexibilities such as compulsory licensing are written into the TRIPS Agreement, but some governments were unsure of how these would be interpreted, and how far their right to use them would be respected.
  • A large part of this was settled when WTO ministers issued a special declaration at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001. They agreed that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures to protect public health. They underscored countries’ ability to use the flexibilities that are built into the TRIPS Agreement. And they agreed to extend exemptions on pharmaceutical patent protection for least-developed countries until 201 On one remaining question, they assigned further work to the TRIPS Council — to sort out how to provide extra flexibility, so that countries unable to produce pharmaceuticals domestically can import patented drugs made under compulsory licensing. A waiver providing this flexibility was agreed on 30 August 2003.

Integrated circuits layout designs

  • The basis for protecting integrated circuit designs (“topographies”) in the TRIPS agreement is the Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits, which comes under the World Intellectual Property This was adopted in 1989 but has not yet entered into force. The TRIPS agreement adds a number of provisions: for example, protection must be available for at least 10 years.

Undisclosed information and trade secrets

  • Trade secrets and other types of “undisclosed information” which have commercial value must be protected against breach of confidence and other acts contrary to honest commercial practices. But reasonable steps must have been taken to keep the information secret. Test data submitted to governments in order to obtain marketing approval for new pharmaceutical or agricultural chemicals must also be protected against unfair commercial use./li>

Curbing anti-competitive licensing contracts

  • The owner of a copyright, patent or other form of intellectual property right can issue a licence for someone else to produce or copy the protected trademark, work, invention, design, etc. The agreement recognizes that the terms of a licensing contract could restrict competition or impede technology transfer. It says that under certain conditions, governments have the right to take action to prevent anti-competitive licensing that abuses intellectual property rights. It also says governments must be prepared to consult each other on controlling anti- competitive

Enforcement: tough but fair

  • Having intellectual property laws is not enough. They have to be enforced. This is covered in Part 3 of TRIPS. The agreement says governments have to ensure that intellectual property rights can be enforced under their laws, and that the penalties for infringement are tough enough to deter further violations. The procedures must be fair and equitable, and not unnecessarily complicated or costly. They should not entail unreasonable time-limits or unwarranted delays. People involved should be able to ask a court to review an administrative decision or to appeal a lower court’s ruling.
  • The agreement describes in some detail how enforcement should be handled, including rules for obtaining evidence, provisional measures, injunctions, damages and other penalties. It says courts should have the right, under certain conditions, to order the disposal or destruction of pirated or counterfeit goods. Wilful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale should be criminal offences. Governments should make sure that intellectual property rights owners can receive the assistance of customs authorities to prevent imports of counterfeit and pirated goods.

12.1.8  Technology transfer

  • Developing countries in particular, see technology transfer as part of the bargain in which they have agreed to protect intellectual property rights. The TRIPS Agreement includes a number of provisions on this. For example, it requires developed countries’ governments to provide incentives for their companies to transfer technology to least-developed

Transition arrangements: 1, 5 or 11 years or more

  • When the WTO agreements took effect on 1 January 1995, developed countries were given one year to ensure that their laws and practices conform with the TRIPS agreement. Developing countries and (under certain conditions) transition economies were given five years, until 2 Least-developed countries had 11 years, until 2006 — now extended to 2013 in general, and
    to  2016  for  pharmaceutical patents  and  undisclosed information.
  • If a developing country did not provide product patent protection in a particular area of technology when the TRIPS Agreement became applicable to it (1 January 2000), it had up to five additional years to introduce the protection. But for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products, the country had to accept the filing of patent applications from the beginning of the transitional period (i.e. 1 January 1995), though the patent did not need to be granted until the end of this period. If the government allowed the relevant pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical to be marketed during the transition period, it had to — subject to certain conditions — provide an exclusive marketing right for the product for five years, or until a product patent was granted, whichever was shorter.
  • Subject to certain exceptions, the general rule is that obligations in the agreement apply to intellectual property rights that existed at the end of a country’s transition period as well as to new ones.

Types of intellectual property

The areas covered by the TRIPS Agreement

  • Copyright and related rights Trademarks, including service marks
  • Geographical indications Industrial designs
  • Patents
  • Layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits
  • Undisclosed information, including trade secrets

What’s the difference?

  • Copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc apply to different types of creations or inventions. They are also treated
  • Patents, industrial designs, integrated circuit designs, geographical indications and trademarks have to be registered in order to receive protection. The registration includes a description of what is being protected — the invention, design, brandname, logo, etc — and this description is public information.
  • Copyright and trade secrets are protected automatically according to specified conditions. They do not have to be registered, and therefore there is no need to disclose, for example, how copyrighted computer software is constructed.
  • Other conditions may also differ, for example the length of time that each type of protection remains in

What is WIPO?

  • WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy,   information      and cooperation. We are a self- funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member
  • Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation  and  creativity  for  the benefit  of  all.  Our  mandate, governing bodies and procedures are   set   out   in   the WIPO Convention,  which  established WIPO in 1967.

Quick facts

12.2.1  Intellectual Property According to WIPO

What is Intellectual Property?

  • Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
  • IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and t rademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public
    interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.


  • The International Patent System
    • Seek patent protection in multiple countries by filing one international application. The PCT system:
      • postpones the major costs associated with international patent protection;
      • provides with a strong basis for patenting decisions;
      • is used by the world’s major corporations, research institutions and
  • The International Trademark System
    • Register trademarks in multiple countries by filing one international application. The Madrid system:
      • saves time and money;
      • covers 113 countries;
      • enables to manage and renew your marks through one centralized system.
    • Register industrial designs in multiple countries with a minimum of formalities and expense. The Hague system:
      • replaces multiple registrations with just one;
      • lets one to register up to 100 industrial designs with one form;
      • makes management of registered designs easier — record changes or renewals through a single

12.2.10  Resolving IP disputes

  • WIPO’s international Alternative Dispute Resolution services enable to resolve IP disputes outside the courts, in a single neutral forum, saving significant time and

Arbitration and mediation

WIPO’s fast, flexible and cost-effective services for settling IP and technology disputes outside the courts include:

  • Mediation where an impartial mediator helps two or more parties in dispute reach a
    mutually acceptable agreement between themselves.
  • Arbitration where the parties agree to submit their dispute to an arbitrator, who then makes a final, binding decision (award).
  • Expert determination where the parties agree to submit a specific issue (such as a technical question, or the valuation of an IP asset, or royalty rates) to one or more experts who make a
  • Domain Name Disputes
  • We are the leading international service-provider for disputes relating to Internet domain names

– or “cybersquatting.”

  • WIPO’s dispute resolution procedure is conducted in electronic format and delivers enforceable decisions within just two


  • The Indian government has taken several initiatives to create a conducive environment for the protection of intellectual property

rights of innovators and creators by bringing about changes at legislative and policy level.

  • In addition, specific focus has been placed on improved service delivery by          upgrading infrastructure, building capacity and using state-of-the-art technology in the functioning of intellectual property offices in the country. This measure has resulted in sweeping changes in IP administration within the country.

12.3.1  AIMS

  • Establishing a vibrant IP regime in the
  • Efficient processing of IP applications by inducting additional manpower, augment IT facilities and automation in Intellectual Property
  • Adopt best practices in IP processing.
  • Strengthening public delivery of IP
  • Highest levels of transparency and user-friendliness

12.3.2  Strengths of the Indian IPR Regime

  • The IPR framework in India is stable and well established from a legal, judicial and administrative point of view and is fully compliant with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • India is committed to wide range of international treaties and conventions relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Wide range of awareness programmes are being conducted by the Government
  • During the last few years, Indian IP offices have undergone major improvements in terms of upgradation of IP legislation, infrastructure facilities, human resources, the processing of IP applications, computerization, databases, quality services to stakeholders, transparency in functioning and free access to IP- data through a dynamic
  • State of the art, integrated and IT- enabled office buildings have been created during the last few years in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai and Ahmedabad, housing central wings for Patents and Designs and  Trademarks  and Geographical Indications. The Patent Office is headquartered at Kolkata with branches at New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. The Trade Mark Registry, headquartered at Mumbai has branches in Ahmedabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata. The Design Office is located in Kolkata and the GI Registry is at Chennai. Separate facilities house the ISA/IPEA in New Delhi and additionally, there is an Intellectual Property Office Archives is at Ahmedabad.
  • Simplified procedure for filing, E-filing facilities and incentives for SMEs are some of the other initiatives in the area of intellectual property rights in India.


  • Patent:

Definition and significance :

  • A patent is granted for an invention which is “a new
    product or process, that meets conditions of novelty, non- obviousness and industrial use. Inventive step is the feature(s) of the invention that involves technical advance as compared to existing knowledge and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art. Industrial use means that the invention is capable of being made or used in an industry.

Ministry administering the IPR:

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,
  • Ministry of  Commerce  & Industry

Concerned IP Act :

  • The Patents  Act,  1970  (as amended in 2005 Design:

Definition and significance :

  • A design refers only to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, composition of colour or line or a combination thereof, applied to any article, whether two or three dimensional or in both forms by any industrial process or means which, in the finished article, appeal to and are judged solely by the eye.

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
  • Ministry of  Commerce  & Industry

Concerned IP Act :

  • Designs Act 2000  Trade Mark:

Definition and significance :

  • A Trade Mark can be a device, brand, heading, label ticket name, packaging, sign, word, letter, number, drawing, picture, emblem, colour or combination of colours, shape of goods, signature or a combination thereof.
  • A trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, shall
    be capable of constituting  a trademark.

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
  • Ministry of  Commerce  & Industry

Concerned IP Act :

  • Trade Marks Act 1999 (as amended in 2010) Geographical Indications: Definition and significance :

  • A geographical indication identifies agricultural or natural or manufactured goods as originating or manufactured in the territory of a country or region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in case where such goods are manufactured goods one of the activities of either. The production or of processing of preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region, or locality as the case may be.

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
  • Ministry of  Commerce  & Industry

Concerned IP Act :

  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration   & Protection) Act, 1999  Copyright: Definition and significance :

  • Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of   reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Ministry of Human Resource Development The Copyright Act, 1957

Concerned IP Act :

  • The Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended) Plant Variety protection: Definition and significance :

  • Protection granted for plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Department of Agriculture and Cooperation
  • Ministry of Agriculture

Concerned IP Act :

  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001

12.3.3.         7  Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout- Design:

Definition and significance :

  • The aim of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout- Design Act 2000 is to provide protection of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in the area of Semiconductor
  • Integrated Circuit Layout Designs and for matters connected therewith or incidental

Ministry administering the IPR :

  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology
  • Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

Concerned IP Act :

  • Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000

12.4                                    INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS

  • India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and committed to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. India is also a member of World Intellectual Property Organization, a body responsible for the promotion of protection of intellectual property rights throughout the
  • India is also a member of the following important WIPO- administered International Treaties and Conventions relating to IPRs:
  • Budapest Treaty  on  the International Recognition of


Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
the Deposit of Micro- organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks- Madrid Protocol
  • Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits
  • Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol
  • Convention for the Protection of Producers  of Phonograms Against
  • India has taken strong steps in strengthening the patent system in the country. The Government aims at establishing a patent regime that is conducive to technological advances and is in line with its global commitments.
  • Patent application filing at Indian Patent Office has been increasing consistently over the years which demonstrates the confidence of the global industry in the Indian patent
  • Filing and processing of patent applications viz., examination, grant and  post–grant proceedings are carried out at all the four Patent Office locations independently through a virtual network system which links all four Patent Offices; however, there is only one virtual Patent Office for the purpose of grant of patents. A patent is granted for a uniform period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application for inventions in all fields of technology and it is a territorial right.
  • The Indian Patent Office has been recognized as an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) by World Intellectual Property Organization in October, 2007 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and has operationalised the status since 15th October, 2013, thus joining an elite group of 17

IT enabled processing and computerized work-flow:

  • All the records are digitized and freely available through the official website,  Every document received in the office is scanned and digitised before taking any action on the document and is made available through the official website to the public. The entire processing of patent applications is electronic and  information  relating  to processing is made available on the website in real time, thereby providing valuable information to the applicants.

Instant electronic communication with applicants:

  • Consequent to filing of a document, instant e-mail is sent to the applicant at the mail IDs and numbers registered with the office. Such messages are QR coded to preserve their authenticity.

Dynamic information:

  • Dynamic utilities are available on the website which provide useful real-time information such as issue of examination reports in a given month, disposal of applications, information about lapsed and ceased patents
  • The entire record in all matters, which are not prohibited from publication by the statute are made available to the public on the website. All the documents are digitized as soon as they are received in the Office to enable computerized processing of applications and are made available to the public in real time through the official website.
  • The Patent Office has a strong pool of experts for processing of patent applications. At present it has strength of 192 Examiners and 89 Supervising Officers. Among them, 42 have Doctorate degree, 75 are Post-Graduates in different branches of science, 25 have Post-Graduate degree in Engineering and 139 have Degree in Engineering/
  • For Patents, complete stock and flow information is available on the

Industrial Designs:

  • Every design to be registrable must pass the universal test of novelty. A registered design is valid for 10 years and can be further extended by another 5 years.
  • A design cannot be registered if it is not new or original or has been disclosed to the public in India or anywhere in the world by publication.

Trade Marks:

  • A trademark is used or proposed to be used to distinguish the goods or services of one person from those of others in the course of trade. Though the registration of trademark is not compulsory, registration is a prima facie proof of the title and it gives the registered proprietor an exclusive right to use the trademark and take legal action in case of infringement.
  • If a trademark is not registered and if someone not having the right in the trademark uses that trademark, the proprietor of the trademark can take the common law action of passing
    • The initial registration is valid for a period of 10 years which is renewable for an indefinite period of
    • India also acceded to the Madrid Protocol which allows applicants to file in other countries that are members of the Protocol through a simple form and by payment in one currency foreign applicants can also file indicating India as the designated country in forms. This also enables time-bound processing of Trade Marks applications.

12.4.1  Madrid Protocol:

  • Indian office is receiving applications for protection of trademarks under the Madrid Protocol and making all correspondence relating thereto online through the gateway provided by this office, similarly all communications from the International Bureau regarding international applications or registration under the Madrid Protocol are made by Indian office through electronic means only.

Automated and transparent functioning of the Trade Marks Registry:

  • All the functions of the TMR are performed through a Trade Marks System (TMS). The Data Entry of all vital information relation to trademark application or a registered trademark has been done and all available paper records relating to trademark applications or registered trademarks have been digitised and these are linked with the relevant application or registered trademarks, in the system.

Other information:

  • The IPO website contains separate Gateway for E- Filing of trademark applications and free online public search facilities for search of identical or similar trademarks.
  • Trade Mark E-Journal is published every Monday giving the details of accepted applications for registration of trademarks & other
  • Details of  all  trademark applications or      registered trademarks, status of applications/registered trademarks, public notices, copies of important office orders, circulars       and      other useful information are available on the website   of      the Office of the Controller General of  Patens, Designs and Trade Marks. The complete stock and flow information is also available on the website.
  • Public can see on real time basis the details of examination of trademark applications, show cause hearings, publication in the trademark journal, registration of trademarks, disposal                of applications by way of abandonment, refusal

Geographical Indications:

  • The Geographical Indications Registry is a statutory organization set up at Chennai for administration of the GI Act with the objective of providing registration and protection of geographical indications (GI) relating to
  • Applications for registration of Geographical Indications can also be filed by foreign entities for registration of their GI in India in accordance with the provisions of
  • A Manual of Practice and Procedure is in place to ensure uniformity and consistency in practice.


  • Facilities offered by the Patent Office to applicants / stakeholders:
  • Filing Applications by foreign applicants claiming priority:
    • India, being a member country to Paris the Convention and PCT, provides all the filing facilities as mandated under these arrangements to applicants for filing convention and national phase patent

Simplified Procedure for filing of National Phase Applications :

  • The procedure for filing a national phase application in India (corresponding to PCT international application) is effortless in that only one form is required to be filed and rest of the contents of the application are obtained by the Patent Office directly from the servers of International Bureau of the World  Intellectual  Property Organisation.

E-F iling Facilities :

  • For filing an application for patent or any document in the Patent Office, comprehensive e- filing service is available at the official website with a facility for making e-payment and there is no need to personally visit the office.

Incentive for online filing :

  • Indian Patent office offers 10% reduction in fees for online filing of all forms and documents relating to patents, at all stages of processing of an application right from the stage of filing to grant of patent and post-grant processes.

Concession for Small Entities :

  • Applicants belonging to the category of micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are required to pay only 50% of the fee payable by other legal entities namely companies etc. The objective is to encourage the

MSMEs to protect their knowledge assets. This facility can be availed equally by foreign applicants.

Facilities offered by the Designs Wing to applicants/stakeholders:

  • Manual of Designs Practice and Procedure is in place for processing application for registration of designs to ensure uniformity and consistency in examination. The manual is available at the official
  • Design applications can be filed by foreign applicants taking priority of their foreign applications.
  • Design registration is granted within 6 months of filing of an application, if all requirements are
  • Search facility in the design database is available in the official
  • Design E- Journal is published in the official website on every Friday.

Facilities offered by the Trade Marks Registry to applicants/stakeholders:

  • Comprehensive e-filing services are available for online filing of all Trade Mark related forms at the office
  • Entrepreneurs from all over the world can register their trademarks in
  • The pre-requisites, FAQ, and instructions for e-filing are hosted on the
  • Under the Madrid Protocol, through a single application for registration, facility of online filing of  international applications can be
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