“Intellectual Property – a brief overview & professional opportunities for Advocates and Chartered Accountants in this field”

Presentation by:
Sandeep K. Rathod Patent Attorney Head: Formulations and Corporate IP, Matrix Laboratories Limited, India [Subsidiary of Mylan Laboratories Inc.]

Email: rathodsandeep@gmail.com Blog: genericpharmaceuticals.blogspot.com
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Intellectual Property: An introduction
•The property or product of one’s mind or intellect. •Difference between intellectual property and other forms of property: Intellectual property is intangible i.e. it cannot be defined or identified by physical parameters but it needs to be expressed in some discernible way to be protected. •In business terms - proprietary knowledge

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Intellectual Property & it’s Types
IP can be traded/ protected/ enforced using legal means. Types of Intellectual Property in India: • Trademarks [including geographical indications] • Patents • Copyrights • Designs • Undisclosed Information

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IPR Laws in India
The Patents Act, 1970
[Act last amended in 2005] The Designs Act, 2000. The Copyright Act, 1957 Trade & Merchandise Marks Act, 1999 (in force from Sep. 2003). The Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999

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Patent
A patent is: a grant of a limited time monopoly by the State to an inventor to use, sell, distribute, license his invention in return of it’s full disclosure which can be used by the public after the expiry of its term. A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent for a limited period. Duration: 20 years.
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Copyright
The right of a person over an original work of art is called as Copyright. For e.g. Books/ Paintings etc. Duration: Life of author + 60 years.

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Design
Copyright in the external shape of an object is protected by Design Rights. The shape must be novel and possess artistic merit. Duration: 14 years

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Undisclosed Information
Information that is kept and used as a secret by a person and not open to public is undisclosed information. E.g. Coca-Cola Formula. Duration: Till the information is kept a secret.

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Trademarks
The name by which an entity sells a good or delivers a service is called “Trade-mark”. Duration: Continuous protection till the proprietor uses the same.

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Geographical Indications
Simply put, a GI is similar to a trade mark. Just like a TM indicates origin, a GI too assures a buyer that the particular product has come from a particular region [i.e. indicates origin]. But unlike a TM which is owned by one person/ company, a GI is usually owned by the Govt. or a society/ group of producers.
Darjeeling tea Scotch whisky
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Comprehensive Approach to the Protection of Intellectual Property
Suppose you launch a new pressure cooker in the market, then the possibilities are: A Patent for any new technology underlying it, Design for the appearance, Trade Mark for its brand & Copyright for the accompanying literature. Now you will be in a position to comprehensively cover your product by IP rights.

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IPR protection in INDIA
IPR awareness among the judiciary is not equally high for all forms of IPRs; India has excellent conditions for protection on trade-marks. International reputation for well known trade marks is also protected; However, the same is not the case for Patents. The judiciary as well as the legal fraternity is inexperienced as regards patent litigation due to the low number of cases.

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Professional opportunities for Advocates and CAs in the IPR domain
Advocates can register as Trademark agents and help in prosecuting trademark applications at the Trademark registry; Patent litigation is a field that will open in a big way, present field is more of trademark litigation only; Advocates with a Science degree can also register as Patent Agents and advise on patent prosecution; CAs can look at brands/ goodwill valuation exercises from the trademarks arena as well as patent/ technology valuation from the patents arena. Royalty estimation and royalty audits is another practise area. Franchising and the entire gamut associated with it – brand licensing, fee payments etc is an area to watch out for!
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