Intellectual Property Primer

a lex-warrier initiative

Introduction to intellectual property


Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creation of human intellect for which certain rights are granted by the State.These properties may be either creative or intellectual. They are commonly used in connection with commercial transactions.Inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in the course of business are some examples of IP.

History of Intellectual Property

Concept of IP can be traced back to Statute of Monopolies (1624) and the (British) Statute of Anne (1710). Though, IP law has been evolved over centuries, the significance of framing some sort of an internationally recognized agreement for the cooperation among the nations for the protection of the IP was realized only in 1883 with the existence of Paris Convention for the protection of intellectual property rights.

Types of Intellectual Property

Intellectual properties are broadly classified into (a) industrial property and (b) Copyright. The term industrial property is not defined anywhere. However, it include patents for inventions, industrial designs (aesthetic creations related to the appearance of industrial products), trademarks, service marks, layout-designs of integrated circuits, commercial names and designations, geographical indications and protection against unfair competition.

Re, to Article 1 (3) of the Paris Convention, industrial property shall be understood in its wider sense that shall apply not to industry and commerce proper but likewise to agricultural and extractive industries and to all manufactured or natural products, for example wines, grain, tobacco leaf, fruit, cattle, minerals, mineral water, beer, flowers and flour.

Need for protecting Intellectual Property

The progress and well-being of humanity rest on its capacity to create and invent new works in the areas of technology and culture. The legal protection of new creations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation. The promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life. These are some of the compelling reasons demanding the need for protecting IP.

Intellectual Property Rights

The rights which are granted to the creators of the IP by the State are called Intellectual Property Rights. Such rights include patents, copyright, industrial design rights, trademarks, plant variety rights, trade secrets, geographical indications etc. Intellectual property rights are just like any other property rights, which allows the IP holders to benefit from their own work or investment in such creation.