Everything you need to know about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)!

Q.1. What is a property?

Ans. The property refers to wealth or valuable things earned by a person. It is estimated in terms of land, house, garden, industries, animals, gold, silver, diamond, money etc. accumulated by a person.

Q.2. What is the need to earn property?


Ans. Each person wants to earn property for four main purposes as given below:

i. To get a better or higher status in the society, because of a person is measured in terms of property accumulated by him or her. On the basis of property, the person is called as rich, middle class or poor.

ii. To lead a better quality of life in the society.

iii. To get a name and fame in the society. In the society, rich people get more respect than others.


iv. For better financial security of life for himself and for his children.

Q.3. What are different types of property?

Ans. The various valuable belongings of a person are broadly classified into two groups, viz.:

i. Immovable property, and


ii. Movable property.

Q.4. What is Immovable Property?

Ans. It refers to fixed types of properties which cannot move from one place to other. Such properties include land, buildings (house, flat, bungalow, farm house) and gardens. Such properties are protected by laws of land in each country.

Q.5. Define Movable Property.


Ans. It refers to the property which can be easily shifted from one place to other. Such property includes animals, farm machines, furniture, fixtures, gold, silver, diamond, and money. Such properties are also protected by public laws.

Q.6. What is Intellectual Property?

Ans. There is third type of property what we can intellectual property. The product/process/idea which is outcome of the brain of a person and can be used on commercial scale for benefit of human kind is called intellectual property. In other words, intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used on commercial scale.

Q.7. Describe the main features of Intellectual Property.


Ans. The main features of intellectual property are given below:

i. It is measured in terms of new ideas, processes, products, inventions and innovations developed by a person.

ii. It requires lot of intellectual inputs in terms of thinking, planning and fine tuning of new ideas/products/processes etc.

iii. It requires considerable amount of funds and other resources to develop new products/processes.


iv. The main problem with intellectual property is that it can be copied, reproduced and used by others resulting is loss of inventor. Hence protection of intellectual property is essential so that the inventor can derive maximum benefits from his invention.

Q.8. What do you mean by Intellectual Property Rights?

Ans. The rights to intangible property that is the product of the human intellect are referred to as intellectual property rights. Intellectual property may be protected by copyright, trademark or patent. The holder of intellectual property rights is usually the person or persons who developed the product or the organization that funded it.

Q.9. What are different forms of IPR?


Ans. The Intellectual Property Rights are broadly divided into two groups, viz., Primary Rights and Sui-generis Rights.

Q.10. What do you mean by Primary Rights?

Ans. Primary rights include Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secret, Trade names, Domain names, Industrial Designs geographical Indications etc.

Q. 11. Define Sui-generis Rights.

Ans. Sui-generis refers to things of their own kind or things with unique characteristics. Such rights include Database Rights, Mask work, Plant Breeders Rights, Traditional Knowledge, Moral Rights and Supplementary Protection Certificate.

Q.12. Give a list of different types of Intellectual Property Rights.


Ans. A list of different types of Intellectual Property Rights is presented in Table 52.1.

Forms of Intellectual Property Rights/Laws

A. Primary Rights:

Q.13. Define Copyrights.

Ans. Copyright has been defined in various ways by different authors.

Some commonly used definitions of copyright are given below:


i. Copyright refers to a document which grants exclusive right to the author/creator to publish and sell literary or musical or artistic work,

ii. The exclusive rights to reproduce sell and distribute a work, prepare derivative works and display the work publicly is referred to as copyright.

iii. The right of an author, artist, publisher etc. to retain ownership of works and to produce or contract others to produce copies is called copyright.

iv. The legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work is called copyright.

Q.14. What are the main features of copyrights?

Ans. Main features of copyrights are briefly presented below:


(i) It provides protection for a specific duration.

(ii) It is applicable in all countries.

(iii) The copyright holder has the rights to authorize others to use the protected work.

(iv) It is applicable to books, movies, music, paintings, photographs and software.

(v) The information cannot be reproduced as such without written permission. However, the information or idea can be used by anyone.

Q.15. What is a Patent?


Ans. Patent has been defined in various ways by different authors. Patent refers to a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention. It is an official document which grants sole rights to the inventor for manufacturing and marketing his product/process/invention to derive benefits. In other words, patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time.

Q.16. Explain briefly the main points of a patent.

Ans. The main points related to a patent are briefly presented as follows:

(i) It is a legal document issued by a federal government that grants exclusive rights for the production, sale and profit from the invention of a product or process for a specific period of time. Patents also grant the right to prevent others from copying the invention.

(ii) An official license is granted by the Patent Office to issue exclusive right to an individual or business for production or sale of a specific invention.

(iii) It is a grant made by a government to an inventor, assuring the sole right to make, use, and sell the invention for a certain period of time. Many audio and video technologies are covered by patents..


(iv) It is a document that allows the patent owner to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention protected by the patent.

Q. 17. What is a Trademark?

Ans. A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign of some kind which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to uniquely identify the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

Q.18. What are main features of a trademark?

Ans. The main features of trademarks are briefly presented below:

(i) A trademark can be a word, name, symbol, device or mark which is used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from goods or services of another.

(ii) Trademark is used to identify its product and to distinguish them from others. It is the name of a product made by a particular person or company.

(iii) The period of protection for a trademark varies, but can generally be renewed indefinitely.

Q.19. What do you mean by Industrial design?

Ans. An industrial design or simply a design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article produced by industry or handicraft; registration and renewals provide protection for, in most cases, up to 15 years.

Q.20. Describe main points related to an industrial design.

Ans. The main points about industrial designs are given below:

(i) Industrial design is an applied art whereby the aesthetics and usability of products may be improved for marketability and production. Industrial Designers often utilize 3D Industrial Design is the field of developing physical solutions to meet a particular need. These physical solutions might include products.

(ii) Industrial design refers to any original shape, picture, or some combination applied to a useful article of manufacture. In other words, it refers to the design of the mass-produced products of our everyday environment, from sinks and furniture to computers.

(iii) Industrial design refers to the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer (Industrial Design Society of America).

Q.21. What are Utility Models?

Ans. A utility model is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which allows the right holder to prevent others from commercially using the protected invention, without his authorization, for a limited period of time. In its basic definition, which may vary from one country (where such protection is available) to another, a utility model is similar to a patent. In fact, utility models are also referred to as “petty patents” or “innovation patents, minor patent and small patent.”

Q.22. Describe different points related to utility models.

Ans. The important points about utility model are listed below:

(i) Utility model is an intellectual property rights to protect inventions.

(ii) Utility models are also known as petty patents, petty inventions, petty innovations, utility innovations, minor patents and small patent.

(iii) The rights conferred by utility models are similar to those granted by patent laws but has a shorter term.

(iv) They are registered with National Patent Office.

(v) They are more suited to incremental inventions.

Q.23. What do you mean by Geographical indication?

Ans. Geographical Indications (GI) is the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases a country, used to describe an agricultural, natural or manufactured goods product or a food stuff. In other words, a geographical indication is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and often possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that place of origin. In other words, a geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain products or which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).

Q.24. Write short notes on geographical indication.

Ans. Geographical Indication may be an agricultural, natural or manufactured goods or product. So far geographical indications have been registered in some advanced countries because they have developed the system of protecting GI. In the past, wines, spirits, cheeses, tobacco, which account for 88%, have been registered as GI. Wines and spirits account for almost 71% of all registrations. In addition to wines and spirits, there is need for protection of agricultural products as GI. For this there is need to establish a multilateral system of, identification and registration of GI.

Q.25. Define Trade Secret.

Ans. Trade secret has been defined in various ways by different authors.

Some commonly used definitions of trade secret are given below:

i. A “trade secret” is anything (a formula, process, method, mechanism, tool, pattern or device) which the disclosing party desires to keep secret. Trade secrets usually include such things as the manufacturing details for a product, variations or alternative uses.

ii. It may refer to a formula or process or device used in business that is not published or divulged which gives an advantage over competitors.

iii. A form of industrial property refers to a non-patented process, mechanism, or formula, known only to its owner that is used in producing something of commercial value.

Q.26. Describe main points related to trade secret.

Ans. The main points about trade secret are briefly presented as follows:

(i) There is no specific period for trade secret. It may continue life-long or for generations together.

(ii) There is no need of registration for trade secret.

(iii) It does not provide opportunity to others for improvement of innovation.

(iv) It is not applicable to books, equipments, plant varieties, designs which are openly used.

Q.27. What are Related Rights?

Ans. Related rights are a term in copyright law, used in opposition to the term “authors’ rights”. The term neighbouring rights is exactly equivalent, and a more literal translation of the original French droits voisins Related rights in civil law are rights which are similar to authors’ right but which are not connected with the actual author to the work, Both authors’ rights and related rights are copyrights in the sense of English or U. S. law.

Q.28. Explain the main points about related rights.

Ans. The main points about related rights are given below:

i. Related rights are similar to copyrights.

ii. Related rights come under primary property rights.

iii. Related rights are also known as neighboring rights.

iv. Related rights are closer to copyrights but are not covered by the Berne Convention.

v. Related Rights are covered by Rome Convention, 1961.

Q. 29. Define Trade Names.

Ans. A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a business trades under for commercial purposes, although its registered, legal name, used for contracts and other formal situations, may be another. Pharmaceuticals also have trade names (e.g. “Aspirin”), often dissimilar to their chemical names (“acetylsalicylic acid”).

Trading names are sometimes registered as trademarks or are regarded as brands. A trade name is the name under which a product is commercially known. The commercial name by which a chemical is known is called trade name. On chemical may have a variety of trade names depending on the manufacturers or distributors involved.

Q.30. Describe the main points about Trade Names.

Ans. The main points related to trade name are given below:

i. It is also known as business name, trading name, assumed name, brand name and corporate name.

ii. It may or may not be registered,

iii. It distinguishes a particular business from others,

iv. It can be exclusive or non-exclusive.

v. It is generally used on letter heads and bank accounts,

vi. It is the name given to a particular substance by each company that manufactures it.

vii. It is the name ‘under which a company conducts its business.

viii. It is the business name of the person or organization making and/or selling a particular product, “General Motors, Inc.” is the “trade name” of the company.

It is used by a company to describe and distinguish its brand of a generic product. Kleenex is a trade name for a brand of tissue; Xerox: a single brand of copier. A “trade name” is the business name of the person or organization making and/or selling a particular product. “General Motors, Inc.” is the “trade name” of the company. Trade names are registered by the state in which the person or company is based.

Q.31. What do you mean by Domain names?

Ans. Domain refers to the unique name that identifies an internet site. Domain names have two or more parts separated by dots, For example www(dot)askedi(dot)com or www(dot)bcbsks(dot)com.

The term domain name has multiple related meanings:

i. It identifies a web site on the internet (e.g., company(dot)com); also referred to as a URL. (Uniform Resource Locator)

ii. It allows reference to Internet sites without knowing the true numerical address.

iii. It refers to the official name of a computer connected to the internet.’ (e.g., “www(dot)Microsoft(dot)com”).

iv. It is the unique name of a computer on the Internet that distinguishes it from other systems around the world.

v. They are sometimes colloquially (and incorrectly) referred to by marketers as “web addresses”.

Q.32. What are the Advantages of Intellectual Property Rights?

Ans. Intellectual Property Rights refer to the legal rights provided to an inventor to derive economic benefits from his invention/innovation.

The main advantages of IPR are as follows:

i. It promotes healthy competition for invention/innovation among the intellectuals.

ii. It helps in improving the quality of the product.

iii. It makes available new ideas/technologies to different countries.

iv. It leads to faster development of industries/organizations engaged in – research and development work.

Q.33. What are the disadvantages of Intellectual Property Rights?

Ans. There are some disadvantages of Intellectual Property Rights which are briefly presented below:

(i) The procedure of registration, particularly of patents, is very lengthy.

(ii) It involves lot of money transaction in registration, renewal and licensing.

(iii) It invites lots of court cases due to infringements.

(iv) It may lead to monopoly of right holders, etc.

B. Sui-generis Rights:

Q.34. Define Sui-generis rights.

Ans. Sui-generis is a Latin expression, literally meaning of its own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics. In law, it is term of art used to identify a legal classification that exists independently of other categorizations because of its uniqueness or due to the specific creation of an entitlement or obligation. In Intellectual Property there are rights which are known as being sui generic to owners of a small class of works.

Such Intellectual Property Rights include:

(i) Database Rights,

(ii) Mask work,

(iii) Plant breeders’ rights,

(iv) Farmers rights,

(v) Moral rights,

(vi) Supplementary protection certificate, and

(vii) Indigenous intellectual property.

Q.35. What do you mean by Database rights?

Ans. Database rights are a form of exclusive right introduced by European Union Law in 1996 in those countries which follow EU Law. A ‘database right’ is an intellectual property right given to a computer database.

The main points about database rights are as follows:

(i) In most countries database are covered by copyright law to some degree.

(ii) The database rights were introduced by European Union Law to provide greater protection to collection of information.

(iii) Database right is covered by sui-generic rights.

(iv) Duration- Database rights last for 15 years, but can be extended if the database is updated.

(v) Protection. Database right prevents copying of substantial parts of database. The protection is over the information, not over the form of expression.

Q.36. What is Mask Work Right?

Ans. A mask work is a two or three-dimensional layout of an integrated circuit (IC or “chip”), i.e. the arrangement on a chip of semiconductor devices such as transistors and passive electronic components such as resistors and interconnections.

Main points related to mask work are listed as under:

(i) Mask work cannot be protected under copyright law or patent law.

(ii) The mask work exclusive rights were first granted in USA by Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984. Such legislations also exist in Canada and Australia.

(iii) Duration Rights for semiconductor mask work lasts only for two years (if unregistered) or 10 years (if registered).

(iv) The exclusive rights in mask work are somewhat like those of copyright: the right to reproduce the mask work or distribute an IC made using mask work.

(v) Reproduction for reverse engineering of a mask work is permitted by law.

(vi) Mask work rights exist when they are created, even without registration.

(vii) Protection under mask work cannot be provided to a mask that is not original.

Q.37. What do you mean by Plant breeders’ rights?

Ans. Plant breeders’ rights, also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are intellectual property rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant. Plant Breeders Rights are granted to novel plant varieties that are distinctive, uniform, and stable (e.g., cultivars bred true-to-type for desired traits). The legal protection of a new plant variety is granted to the breeder or his successor. The effect of PBR is that prior authorization is required before the material can be used for commercial purposes.

Q.38. What are Advantages of PBR?

Ans. There are several advantages of plant breeders’ rights which are listed below:

(i) Breeders get benefit of their variety.

(ii) PBR helps in faster development of seed industry.

(iii) PBR leads to improvement in quality because of competition.

(iv) PBR is useful in procurement of good material on payment basis.

(v) PBR helps in enrichment of genetic resources.

Q.39. What are Disadvantages of PBR?

Ans. There are several advantages of plant breeders’ rights which are listed below:

(i) It will promote monopoly.

(ii) It will encourage unhealthy practices.

(iii) It may lead to increase in prices.

(iv) There will be reduction in genetic variability.

(v) There will be compulsion to purchase fresh seed every year.

Q.40. What are Farmers’ Rights?

Ans. Farmers’ rights refer to the rights arising from the past, present and future contributions of farmers in conserving, improving and making available plant or animal genetic resources, particularly those in the centres of origin/diversity. In other words the legal rights provided to farmers to save, use, sow, replant, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under Plant Variety Protection Act refer to Farmers Rights. The purpose to these rights is to “ensure full benefits to farmers and support the continuation of their contributions.

The FAO, Conference held in Rome from 11-29 November, 1989 endorsed the concept of Farmers Rights with a view to:

(i) Ensuring global recognition of the need for conservation and the availability of sufficient funds for these purposes;

(ii) Assisting farmers and farming communities throughout the world, especially those in areas of original diversity of plant genetic resources, in the protection and conservation of their PGR and of the natural biosphere; and,

(iii) Allowing the full participation of farmers, their communities, and countries in the benefits derived, at present and in the future, from the improved use of PGR.

Q.41. What are Moral rights?

Ans. Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works generally recognized in civil law jurisdictions and first recognized in France and Germany, before they were included in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1928. Moral rights are a special extension to copyright that gives the originator of a copyrighted work rights over its use. The originator can specify moral conditions on the use or exploitation of their creation, even when the rights are licensed or sold to others’.

Q.42. Define the Supplementary protection certificate.

Ans. This term is used in European Countries. This is an extension of the term given to pharmaceutical or plant protection patent. A supplementary protection certificate (SPC) is a sui generis, patent-like, intellectual property right. This type of right is available for medicinal products, such as drugs, and plant protection products, such as insecticides, and herbicides.

Q.43. What do you mean by Traditional Knowledge?

Ans. The Indigenous Knowledge also known as Traditional Knowledge (TK) refers to the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous people and local communities. In other words, it is the: knowledge gained through tradition from ancestors about plants and animals, medicines, agricultural practices and other matters.

Q.44. Define the ecological knowledge.

Ans. The ecological knowledge is composed of both traditional knowledge and experimental knowledge (gained through personal experience. Traditional knowledge is very important almost in every sphere of life. Hence, its protection is very necessary otherwise this valuable knowledge will be gradually lost.

Q.45. What are differences between Database rights and copyrights?

Ans. There are some differences between database rights and copyrights which are presented in Table 52.2.

Differences between Database Rights and Copyrights

Q.46. What are the similarities between database rights and copyrights?

Ans. There are some similarities between database rights and copyrights which are presented in Table 52.3.

Similarities between Database rights and Copyrights

Q.47. What are differences between Database rights and Mask Work rights?

Ans. There are some differences between database and mask work which are presented in Table 52.4.

Differences between Database and Mask Work

Q.48. What are similarities between Database rights and Mask Work rights?

Ans. There are some similarities between database and mask work which are presented in Table 52.5.

Similarities between Database and Mask Work