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This article is written by Unnati Bhatt of 1st Year of Jiwaji University, Gwalior, and an intern under Legal Vidhiya


Intellectual Property Rights are rules that protect things people create using their minds. These creations can be inventions, art, designs, logos, or even just names and symbols used in business. The idea behind IPR is to encourage people to be creative and come up with new things by giving them special rights to what they create. These rights let them decide how their creations are used, copied, and sold. There are different types of IPR like patents (for new inventions), copyrights (for art and writing), trademarks (for logos and brand names), and trade secrets (for keeping business information confidential). Each country has its own rules for IPR, but the main goal is to make sure creators are rewarded for their work while still letting others benefit from new ideas and innovation.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are important for improving life in many ways.

Firstly, they help inventors by giving them special rights to their inventions. This makes people want to invest in new ideas and make cool things, like gadgets, medicines, and art, that help everyone.

Secondly, IPR, especially copyright, helps artists and creators get rewarded for their work. This makes them want to keep making awesome stuff like music, books, and movies, which makes our culture more interesting and fun.

IPR also helps our economy grow. When people know their ideas will be protected, they’re more likely to invest in them. This creates new businesses, and jobs, and makes our economy stronger.


Intellectual property rights, industrial revolution, patent law, Paris Convention, Berne Convention, copyright Act, the United States Patent Act, United States Trade Representative.


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have been around for a long time, but they started getting more organized in Europe during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods. In 1474, Venice created the first modern patent system, which gave inventors special rights to their creations. Then, in 1624, England made a law called the Statute of Monopolies to control how much power the king had to give out exclusive rights. This laid the foundation for protecting inventions and new ideas. Around the same time, when the printing press was invented in the 15th century, people started thinking about protecting authors’ rights to their writings. In 1710, England passed the Statute of Anne, which gave authors ownership of their literary works. [1]

During the Industrial Revolution, patent laws expanded to cover new machines and manufacturing methods. In the 19th and 20th centuries, countries came together to make international agreements like the Paris Convention and the Berne Convention to ensure IPR was protected worldwide. Today, with digital technology growing, there are new challenges like online piracy. People are also talking about how to balance protecting IPR with making sure everyone has access to knowledge and culture.

In Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), several challenges and problems can arise:

1. Piracy and Fake Stuff: People making and selling fake versions of things or copying movies and music without permission hurts the original creators and companies, and makes it hard for customers to trust what they’re buying.

2. Complicated Rules and Time Limits: The rules for IPR can be really hard to understand, especially in areas like technology and medicine. Sometimes, the laws meant to protect new ideas end up making it harder for new ideas to come out.

3. Balancing Sharing and Protection: It’s tough to make sure everyone can still share knowledge and information while also protecting the rights of creators and companies. This is especially tricky in areas like education and healthcare.

4. Big Companies Taking Over: Some people worry that big companies might use IPR to control the market and keep smaller businesses out, which could lead to fewer choices for customers and higher prices.

5. Disagreements Between Countries: Different countries have different rules for IPR, which can cause fights, especially when it comes to trade and stealing ideas.

6. Misusing the Patent System: Some people abuse the patent system by filing patents for things they didn’t invent. This can stop others from making new stuff and hurt competition.

7. Not Protecting Traditional Knowledge: Some IPR rules don’t do enough to protect the cultural and traditional knowledge of indigenous communities, leaving them open to exploitation.

8. Digital Stuff is Hard to Protect: With everything moving online, it’s tough to make sure digital stuff, like movies and books, is protected from being copied or stolen. This causes debates about what’s fair for consumers and creators.

We need to talk about these issues and work together to make sure IPR helps new ideas and protects everyone’s rights fairly.


IPR, or Intellectual Property Rights, is all about protecting things people create using their minds. These creations can be inventions, art, logos, or just names and symbols used in business. IPR gives creators special rights to their work, like the right to decide who can use it, copy it, and make money from it.

One famous part of IPR is called Section 101 of the United States Patent Act. This section lays out the rules for what can get a patent. A patent is like a special certificate that gives you exclusive rights to your invention. According to Section 101[2], for something to get a patent, it has to be a new and useful process, machine, product, or a new and useful improvement of one of those things.

This part of the law is really important because it decides what can be protected by a patent. It’s been a big deal in the world of technology and medicine, especially with new things like software and biotechnology. People argue a lot about what should and shouldn’t be eligible for a patent.

Overall, IPR is about making sure that creators get recognized and rewarded for their work. It’s like giving them a special shield to protect their ideas and inventions from being copied or

used without permission. Section 101 of the US Patent Act is one of the key parts of the law that decides who gets that shield.


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) encompass various legal rights that protect creations of the mind or intellect. The most important IPR can vary depending on the industry and context, but some of the key ones include:

1. Patents: These protect new inventions by giving the inventor exclusive rights for a while. It stops others from copying, selling, or using the invention without permission.

2. Copyrights: These protect things people create, like books, music, and art. The creator has the only right to copy, share, perform, or make new things based on their work.

3. Trademarks: These protect symbols, logos, and names that represent products or services. They stop others from using similar ones that could confuse customers.

4. Trade Secrets: These are secrets that give a business an edge over competitors, like secret recipes or customer lists. They don’t need registration and last as long as they’re kept secret.

5. Industrial Designs: These protect how products look, like their shape or design. It stops others from copying the appearance of a product.

6. Plant Variety Protection: This protects new types of plants that are different and consistent. It lets plant breeders control who can grow, sell, or use their new plant for a while, which encourages new plant varieties.

7. Geographical Indications (GI): These show that a product comes from a specific place and has special qualities because of that place. It protects the reputation and special qualities of products tied to certain locations, like wine or cheese.

Each of these IPR plays a crucial role in fostering innovation, creativity, and economic development by incentivizing individuals and organizations to invest in research, development, and creative endeavors.


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) help with copyright issues by giving legal protection to original works like books, music, art, and more. Here’s how IPR helps:

 Exclusive Rights: Copyright gives creators special rights to their work. This means they have control over who can copy, share, perform, or make changes to their creations.

 Registration and Enforcement: Creators can register their copyrights with the government. This helps prove they own their work and makes it easier to take legal action against anyone who uses it without permission.

 Fair Use: IPR laws include rules for fair use, which lets people use copyrighted material in certain situations without permission. This might include things like quoting a book in a review or using a song in a school project.

DMCA: In the digital age, laws like the DMCA help deal with copyright issues online. It lets copyright owners ask websites to take down content that infringes on their rights.

International Agreements: Countries make agreements to help protect copyrights globally. These agreements set standards for copyright protection and make it easier to enforce copyright laws across borders.

Technological Protection: IPR laws also allow for technology like DRM to protect digital content. DRM stops people from copying or sharing digital works without permission.

Overall, IPR gives creators control over their work and helps make sure they get credit for it. It also makes sure people can use copyrighted material fairly and protects against unauthorized use.


Changing from process patents to product patents was needed to follow the TRIPS agreement. Product patents protect the final product, while process patents protect how the product is made. This switch helps prevent monopolies, especially in a developing country like India where intellectual property is important for making money.

Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act deals with patents that never seem to end. This section stops patents from being renewed for small changes to the product. Big changes, like proving a product works in medicine, are needed for multinational companies to keep their patents.

Section 84 of the Indian Patent Act is a big issue. It makes some companies produce certain medicines efficiently if they have a license. But some companies might use this to charge too much for their products. And some companies might not be able to make enough medicines.

The Indian government gives out different subsidies, which are like help from the government in the form of money or services. But to follow the TRIPS agreement, these subsidies might need to be reduced or even stopped. Balancing subsidies and intellectual property rights could help India solve some problems.

India’s intellectual property issues were noticed by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). India is still on their “Priority Watch List,” along with other countries like China and Saudi Arabia.

Even though India is trying to make IP laws better, these problems make it tough for US businesses in India. It’s hard for innovators to get and keep licenses in the country. Also, information about certain pharmaceutical manufacturing licenses from the government is not easy to understand. And some agricultural chemicals aren’t protected from being used or shared unfairly.


While these rules for protecting ideas are important for encouraging new inventions and creativity, there are some problems we haven’t paid enough attention to:

Getting to Learn Stuff: Sometimes, these rules can make it hard for people to get access to important information, especially in fields like medicine and technology. Patents and copyrights might stop people from getting the medicine they need or learning new things, especially in poorer countries where things can be expensive.

Controlling Digital Stuff Too Much: Sometimes, rules about digital things like movies and music can stop people from using them in fairways, like for education or people with disabilities. We need to make sure these rules are fair for everyone.

Making Sure the Rules Are Followed: Sometimes, it’s hard to make sure people follow these rules, especially on the internet where things can spread fast. We need to make sure the rules are clear and that everyone follows them properly.

Balancing Making Money with Keeping People Healthy: Sometimes, these rules about medicine can make it hard for people to get the medicine they need, especially in poorer countries. We need to find a balance between making money from new medicine and making sure everyone can afford it.

We need to think about everyone’s interests, like the people who come up with ideas, the people who use them, and the communities they come from. It’s about finding a fair balance so everyone can benefit from new ideas and knowledge.


Novartis v. Union of India (2013) SC[3]

The Novartis v. Union of India case, commonly known as Novartis AG v. Union of India & Others, is a significant legal battle in India concerning patent law and accessibility to essential medicines. In 2013, the Indian Supreme Court issued a verdict favoring the Union of India, supporting the refusal of a patent for Novartis’s cancer medication Glivec (Imatinib Mesylate).

Novartis had applied for a patent for an updated version of Glivec, which was rejected by the Indian Patent Office. The rejection was based on the argument that the updated version constituted a minor modification of a known substance and did not fulfill the criteria for patentability under Indian law.

The case centered on the interpretation of Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act, which outlines the standards for patentability, particularly regarding the novelty and inventive step of an invention. Novartis contended that this provision was unconstitutional and contradicted India’s commitments under international agreements like TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Nevertheless, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Section 3(d) and determined that the updated version of Glivec did not meet the requirements for patentability.

The verdict was widely applauded by advocates for public health and seen as a triumph for the accessibility of affordable medicines. It affirmed India’s dedication to striking a balance between patent rights and public health concerns. Moreover, it established a crucial precedent for future patent disputes concerning pharmaceuticals in India.

Yahoo! Inc. v. Akash Arora &Anr(1999) Delhi HC[4]

In Yahoo! Inc. v. Akash Arora & Anr (1999) Delhi HC, Yahoo! Inc. brought a case against Akash Arora and another individual concerning the domain name “yahooindia.com.” Yahoo! Inc. argued that Arora’s registration of the domain name infringed on their trademark and caused confusion among internet users, constituting passing off and trademark infringement.

The Delhi High Court ruled in favor of Yahoo! Inc., finding that Arora’s use of “yahooindia.com” indeed violated Yahoo! Inc.’s trademark rights. As a result, the court ordered Arora to stop using the domain name and transfer it to Yahoo! Inc.

This case emphasizes the significance of trademark protection in the digital realm and establishes a precedent for resolving domain name disputes involving well-known brands. It sheds light on the legal framework governing internet-related intellectual property issues and the enforcement of trademark rights online.


Securing Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in India presents challenges due to inadequate awareness and enforcement mechanisms. Nonetheless, safeguarding patents, trademarks, and copyrights remains pivotal for nurturing innovation and fostering developmental strides. Despite notable progress in industry, science, and economy, India lags behind nations like China. Robust IPR protection is indispensable for fostering a culture of creativity and innovation. Strengthening enforcement measures and enhancing public awareness can fortify the protection of IPRs. By doing so, India can harness its potential for innovation and bridge the gap with leading global players. Encouraging a conducive environment for research and development, coupled with effective legal frameworks, is vital for bolstering IPR protection. Moreover, fostering collaboration between stakeholders, including government agencies, businesses, and educational institutions, can further augment efforts toward safeguarding intellectual property. Ultimately, a robust ecosystem that values and protects intellectual property rights will contribute significantly to India’s journey towards becoming a global leader in innovation and development.


  1. Patent Business Lawyer https://patentbusinesslawyer.com/most-common-intellectual-property-rights-problems/
  2. Ensure Ias https://ensureias.com/blog/issues-relating-to-intellectual-property-rights
  3. Lexpeepshttps://lexpeeps.in/10-landmark-cases-on-intellectual-property-rights/
  4. Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novartis_v._Union_of_India_%26_Others
  5. Legal Vidhiya https://legalvidhiya.com/
  6. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property

[1] Intellectual property – Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property ( last visited 9th April 2024 )

[2] IP Explained: What is Section 101 and why reforms are needed,https://phrma.org/en/Blog/ip-explained-what-is-section-101-and-why-reforms-are-needed ( last visited 10th April)

[3] Novartis v. Union of India & Others – Wikipedia,Novartis v. Union of India & Others – Wikipedia

 ( last visited 12th April)

[4] Case Brief: Yahoo!, Inc vs Akash Arora & Anr, Delhi High Court, https://lawbhoomi.com/yahoo-inc-vs-akash-arora-anr-delhi-high-court/  ( last visited 13th  april 2024)

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