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The benefits of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as:

To do business it is important to know how to use, guard and enforce the rights over the intellectual property that an individual or his business owns.  

Protecting intellectual property

IP in India is a term that refers to brand, invention, design, and any other kind of creation over which the person or the business is having legal rights. Almost all businesses own some form of intellectual property that can be considered as a business asset.

When something new and innovative is created, the inventor has the right to protect it. Inventors can register their creations as intellectual properties by filing for an IP that enables them to avail sole monopoly over their creations.

Traditionally, IP is categorized as industrial property and copyright, wherein the former is used in the context of patents, industrial designs and trademarks, and the latter is used in the context of protecting literary creations, artistic works, musical works etc.

As such, the right to protect IP entails the exclusive rights provided to the innovator or creator. IP rights denotes the legal rights provided to the creator and not the IP itself. It is necessary to understand the meaning of IP rights and be aware of the steps taken to protect them.

The Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in India mainly include encompassing trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and design, etc. Each category of intellectual property covers a different group of properties and work. It is necessary to choose the right category to safeguard the work and the business property.

What are the IPRs in India?

Intellectual property rights in India includes the following common types:

Why is it important to register intellectual property?

While talking about protecting IPRs, it is first necessary to understand the importance of registration. When an individual or an organization develops a new product, which involves a lot of processes, content, resources etc., a lot of time and money is invested. It is natural for the inventor or organization to have the expectation of being able to own exclusive rights over the invention, while excluding others from benefiting from it.

This exclusivity is provided through IP systems and IP laws. Although it is not mandatory to register an IP or trademark, it provides the inventor certain advantages including the prima facie ownership proof that enables the owner to enforce IPR in a court of law, if deemed necessary.

There are several dangers if IPRs are not protected. For instance, not protecting IP can result in getting benefits from the unprotected invention in an unauthorized manner to anyone.

There is no law that can stop one from duplicating and seeking financial benefits from someone else's innovation if IP is not filed. Furthermore, it falls upon the owner to prove the ownership of the IP in a court of law if the IP is unregistered. If a trademark remains unprotected, the court cannot help the inventor, as it is not possible to claim ownership and/ or sue for infringement.

Need to protect IP

It is essential to protect IPRs. Firstly, inventors get exclusive control to use their IP to their benefits – both in terms of usage as well as financial benefits. The inventor can decide the price of the invention, the marketing and distribution channels and countless ways to turn a profit and earn a high return on investment.

Secondly, filing for IP allows the inventor to prohibit others from making financial benefits.

Thirdly, if a competitor violates the IP laws that protect the inventors, the inventor can exercise the right to file a court case against the party attempting to benefit from the invention. If found guilty, the court may award a financial reward to the inventor, to be paid by an individual or entity attempting to gain financial benefits from the invention attributed to the owner of the IP.

As such, IP rights are essential because they provide inventors the incentive to keep innovating and benefitting from their inventions.

Protecting IP is a complicated process that involves IP registration, followed by a long process of verifying the authenticity of the creation. 

The process – from registering IP to granting the patent, trademark, copyright or utility design involves a lot of research on the part of the individual or entity granting the IP. The entity granting the IP is required to ensure that the creation is original, authentic and not lifted from another innovation. It involves publishing the new creations in IP journals to fact-check any other individual or entity claiming IP rights against the same or similar creations.

The entire process – from registering to acquiring IP rights – can take anywhere between a few months to many years and includes various rounds of corrections on the part of the inventor.

Benefits of IPR

Intellectual property rights not only protect the ideas or concepts of business but also protect the genuine business assets that are vital to the products and services.

Several advantages to secure intellectual property rights include:


The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in India recommends that readers seek professional advice regarding their particular circumstances. This publication should not be relied on as a substitute for such professional advice. The Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained on this page. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information.

Content on this page is provided by Dezan Shira & Associates a pan-Asia, multi-disciplinary professional services firm, providing legal, tax, and operational advisory to international corporate investors.

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