Intellectual Property Rights in India

Patent Rights on COVID-19 jabs may be waived

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IPRs, Patents

Mains level : Not Much

The World Trade Organization chief has hailed a breakthrough between the EU, the United States, India and South Africa on waiving intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines.

What is a Patent?

  • A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention.
  • In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
  • To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.
  • The patent owner may give permission to, or license, other parties to use the invention on mutually agreed terms.
  • The owner may also sell the right to the invention to someone else, who will then become the new owner of the patent.
  • Once a patent expires, the protection ends, and an invention enters the public domain; that is, anyone can commercially exploit the invention without infringing the patent.

Terms of Patent

  • Patents may be granted for inventions in any field of technology, from an everyday kitchen utensil to a nanotechnology chip.
  • An invention can be a product – such as a chemical compound, or a process, for example – or a process for producing a specific chemical compound.
  • Patent protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application.
  • Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.

Back2Basics: Intellectual Properties

  • IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, 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.

Types of IP:

(1) Copyright

  • Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works.
  • Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings.

(2) Patents

Discussed above

(3) Trademarks

  • A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
  • Trademarks date back to ancient times when artisans used to put their signature or “mark” on their products.

(4) Geographical Indications

  • Geographical indications and appellations of origin are signs used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, a reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.
  • Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods.

(5) Trade secrets

  • Trade secrets are IP rights on confidential information which may be sold or licensed.
  • The unauthorized acquisition, use or disclosure of such secret information in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices by others is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret protection.

 

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