Notes on Laws relating to Intellectual Property rights(IPR):(This is supplementary to the hard copy note already given)
WTO which is responsible for the regulation of International trade, is also responsible for the global protection
of Intellectual property rights. India is the signatory of WTO and as such it became the member of TRIPS(Trade
relating to Intellectual property rights). The reason for enactment of and or amendment
to various IPR Laws are to conform to the TRIPS.
Salient points under various Acts which are collectively called Intellectual property laws:The Acts which are covered under IPR are as follows:1) The Trade Marks Act, 1999.
2) The Patents Act, 1970.
3) The Copyright Act, 1957
4) Designs Act, 2000.
5) Geographical Indications of Goods(Registration and Protection)Act,1999.
6) Protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights, Act, 2001.
7) Semi conductor Integrated circuits Layout- design Act,2000.
8) Biological Diversity Act,2002.
Trade Marks Act, 1999.
Purpose of the Act:- An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to trade marks, to provide for
registration and better protection of trade marks for goods and services and for the prevention of the
use of fraudulent marks.
What is a trade mark?
A trade mark is a visual symbol or sign in the form of a word or a label used for the identification of the
Goods or services readily distinguishable from similar goods and services supplied by the others.
The new Act came into force on 15-09-2003.
The procedure for registration of a trade mark:- An application in writing to the Registrar of Trade marks. A
single application can be made for the registration of a trade mark for different classes of goods and
services. An application for registration of a trade mark has to be opposed within 3 months from the date
of advertisement or such extended period of one month.
An application for registration may be refused on the following grounds, namely:A) Absolute grounds for refusal:Trade marks which are
- devoid of any distinctive character
-marks or indications which( may serve in trade to ) designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended
Purpose, geographical indications etc of goods or services.
-exclusive marks or indications which have become customary.(however, a trade mark shall not be
refused registration, if before the date of application for registration, it has acquired a distinctive
character as result of use made of it or is a well known trade mark)
-of such a nature as to deceive the public or cause confusion
-contains matters likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of
-contains scandalous or obscene matter.
-prohibited under the Emblems and Names(Prevention of improper use) Act, 1950.
-If it consists exclusively of shape of goods which results from the nature of goods themselves or which
is necessary to obtain a technical result or which gives substantial value to the goods.
Nature of goods or services in relation to which the trade mark is used or proposed to be used
shall not be a ground for refusal of registration.
B) Relative ground for refusal:-the identity or similarity of the trade mark with an earlier trade mark and identity or similarity of
goods or services covered by the trade mark having chance of confusion on the part of the public,
which includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.
-the trade mark applied for is identical with or similar to an earlier trademark but is to registered for
goods or services which are not similar to the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is
registered in the name of a different proprietor. However, the earlier trade mark which is registered
for a different goods or service should be a WELL-KNOWN trade mark in India and the use of the
trade mark for which an application is now sougnt without due cause, would take unfair advantage
of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the earlier existing trade mark which is
registered for a different product or service. Here, the party opposing registration has to raise the
grounds of objection during opposition proceedings.
-a trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that its use in India is liable to be prevented
(a) by virtue of any law, in particular, the law of PASSING OFF, protecting an unregistered trade
mark used in the course of trade; or (b) by virtue of a copyright. Here also, the party opposing the
registration has to raise the grounds of objection during opposition proceedings.
C) Other Grounds for refusal:- A word shall not be registered as a trade mark if is commonly used and accepted name of any single
element or a single chemical compound in respect of a chemical substance or preparation or that is
a word which is declared by the World Health Organisation and notified in the prescribed manner by
the Registrar from time to time as an international non proprietary name or which is deceptively
similar to such name.
- In case of names and representations of living person or persons whose death took place within
twenty years prior to the date of application for the registration of the trade mark, the Registrar may
require the written consent of such living person or the legal representative of the deceased person
before he proceeds with the application.
The trade mark, when registered, DATES BACK to the date of the making of application.
What is the DURATION of a Trade mark?
The owner of the trade mark gets a perpetual right to its use in relation to the goods and services in
respect of which it is registered. The registration is for ten years but may be renewed from time to
time perpetually for further periods of ten years.
Protection of Trade marks:Trade marks can be protected in the following ways, namely,
1) Infringement Action.
2) Passing Off Action.
3) Criminal Action.
Infringement Action:-When a person gets his trade mark registered under law, he acquires valuable rights by
reason of such registration. Registration of the trade mark gives him an exclusive right to the use of
trade mark in connection with the goods in respect of which it is registered and if there is any invasion of
this right by ANY OTHER PERSON by a mark which is the same or deceptively similar to his trade mark, he
can protect his trade mark by an action for infringement in which he can obtain INJUNCTION, DAMAGES OR
ACCOUNT OF PROFIT made by the other person.
Passing off Action:- Here, the Trade Mark need not be registered. It can be a trade mark or a get up. In
“passing off”, the main principle is that no one has any right to represent for trade purposes, his goods or
business as being the goods or business of somebody else.
What are the reliefs in the suits for infringement or passing off?
Injunction and damages or an account of profits together with or without any order for the delivery of
the infringing labels and marks for destruction or erasure.
Criminal Action:Criminal complaints can be filed in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate or First Class judicial magistrate
against accused persons whose whereabouts are known or unknown, charging them, inter alia(among other
things) with having falsified a trade mark or applied a false trade mark or a false description to goods or having
in possession blocks, plates or other instruments for falsifying trade marks or having
in possession for sale or selling goods or things to which a false trade mark or false trade description is
Removal of Trade mark:A Trade mark registered WITHOUT ANY BONAFIDE intention on the part of the applicant to use it in relation
to those goods AND that there has infact been no bonafide use of the trade mark in relation to
those goods up to a date of three months before the date of application for taking off the trade mark from
the register or that up to a date of three months prior to the date of application, a continuous period of
five(5)years from the date on which the trade mark is actually entered in the register or a longer period has
elapsed during which the trade mark was registered and during which there was no bonafide use thereof in
relation to those goods or services by any proprietor thereof for the time being.
------------------------Patents Act, 1970
Earlier there was only PROCESS PATENT and no PRODUCT PATENT for drugs, foods and chemicals. Now
product patent has also come into existence for drugs, foods and chemicals. The Product patent protection
already exists IN ALL OTHER FIELDS. A patent is a right granted to a person who has invented a new and
useful article or an improvement of an existing article or a new process of making an article. A Patent is not
granted for an idea or principle as such, but for some article or the process of making some article applying
Application for Patent:Who can apply for patent?
1) Any person claiming to be the true and first inventor of the invention;
2) by any person being the assignee of the person claiming to be the true and first inventor in respect of the
right to make such an application;
3) by the legal representative of any deceased person who immediately before his death was entitled to
make such an application.
The application as above may be made by any of the persons mentioned above either alone or jointly with
any other person for ONE INVENTION ONLY before the patent office. Every application for a patent shall
be accompanied by a SPECIFICATION describing the invention and shall begin with a title sufficiently
indicating the subject matter to which the invention relates. A PATENT SPECIFICATION is the heart and
soul of a patent.
What after application for a patent?
An application for patent shall not ordinarily be open to public for a prescribed period. If the applicant so
desires, the application may be published before the prescribed period by the Controller general of Patents,
designs and Trade marks. On the expiry of the prescribed period as stated above, the application for patent
shall be published. Upon publication, the Biological materials, specifications, drawings etc., shall be available
to the public.
A patent is valid for a period of twenty(20) years FROM THE DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE
APPLICATION FOR A PATENT. Why validity of a patent is twenty years from the date of PUBLICATION
OF THE APPLICATION?
This is because, on and from the date of publication of the application for patent and until the grant of patent in
respect of such application, the applicant shall have the like privileges and rights as if a patent for
the investigation has been granted on the date of the publication of the application. However, the applicant
shall not be entitled to institute any proceedings for infringement until the patent has been granted.
On a request by the applicant for the patent or any other interested person, for an EXAMINATION of an
APPLICATION, the application and specification and other documents related thereto shall be referred at
the earliest by the controller general of Patents, designs and Trade marks to an EXAMINER for making a
report to him(ie to he Controller) regarding the following matters, namely:1) whether the application, the specification and other documents relating thereto are according to the
requirements of this Act and the rules thereunder.
2) Whether there is any lawful ground of objection to the grant of the patent under the Act in pursuance of the
3) A report of the Examiner, after investigation, for the purpose of ascertaining whether a) the invention
claimed has been anticipated by a publication made before this application or b) the invention is claimed in
any claim of completed specification published after this application but the application for which is made
before this application in question.
Where an application for a patent has been published but a patent has not been granted, any person may, in
writing, represent by way of opposition to the controller against the grant of that patent, on the ground, inter
alia, that the applicant for the patent wrongfully obtained the invention or any part thereof from him.
On receipt of the report of the Examiner, the Controller may either grant the patent or may require the applicant
to make necessary amendments after giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard.
Some general information on PATENTS:-The three standard requirements for a patent to be registered are novelty, utility and inventive steps/non
obviousness. It should be new, new steps and should be commercially exploitable.
-During the term of the patent, the owner of the patent, ie, the patentee can prevent any other person from using
the patented invention. After the expiry of the duration of the patent, anybody can make use of the invention,
since it becomes a public domain.
-A patent is a creation of STATUTE and is therefore territorial in Extent. Thus, a patent granted in one country
cannot be enforced in another country UNLESS the invention concerned is patented in that country also.
What is infringement?
Infringement of patent consists in the violation of any “exclusive rights” of the patentee, namely, to make, use,
exercise, sell or distribute the invention in India. Where the invention claimed is an article or substance, the
rights of the patentee are infringed by any one who makes or supplies that article or substance commercially for
use by others. Where the patent is for a process, the right of patentee is infringed by one who uses or exercises
that method or process in India.
Where to file relief for infringement?
Action for infringement of a patent must be instituted by filing a suit in the Court having jurisdiction not
inferior to that of a District Court. The right to sue for infringement belongs to the patentee. A person who
threatens to infringe may also be sued. The burden of establishing infringement is on the plaintiff , ie who has
filed a suit.
What are the reliefs available?
It includes an injunction AND at the option of the plaintiff, either damages or an account of profits.
The limitation period for taking action for infringement is three years from the date of infringement.
-APPLICATION FOR PATENT ABROAD:- For applying ABROAD, one has to first apply in India and
after six weeks to apply abroad.
-A Patent is a Monopoly right.
- In case of an invention in the Research and Development(R&D) Dept. of a Company, the application for a
patent should be made both by the Employer and the employee to avoid future complication in the event of the
employee in the R&D department resigns.
What is Para IV filing?
In case of Para IV filing, the generic manufacturer claims that either his product does not infringe the patent
and /or the patent itself is invalid. A successful patent challenge allows the challenger, a 180 days exclusivity in
which no other company can launch a generic version.
What is “Evergreening” of a patent?
When a patent is ending its tenure of Twenty years, there is a natural tendency on the part of the patent
holder to extend the patent by applying some cosmetic touches to the patent and then apply to the patent
authority to extend the same. In this way he can prevent it from becoming “generic”. However, Indian
Patent Law, under Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970, provides that the mere discovery of a new form
of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that
substance or the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or
of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus does not entitle a person for a patent or the
extension of the patent.
----------------------------Copyright Act, 1957
-A Copyright shall subsist in an original literary work.
-How to determine whether a particular piece of work can be a copyright or what are the requirements of
Copyright means the exclusive right to do or authorize
others to do certain acts in relation to :a) LITERARY, Dramatic or Musical works.
b) Computer Programme.
c) Artistic Work.
d) Cinematograph film and
e) Sound Recording.
- How to determine whether a particular piece of work can be a copyright or what are the requirements of
Copyright protects only what is EXPRESSED and not the IDEA that has been used to express. In India,
works are protected as long as there is Original Expression. Originality relating to EXPRESSION OF
THOUGHT. Thus, a work not copied from another work is original ie it should originate from the author.
It does not mean the expression of Original or Inventive thought.
A person who possesses Copyright of a literary work can, inter alia, do the following in respect of a work or a
substantial part thereof, namely:a) Reproduce the work in any material form including storing of it in any medium by electronic means.
b) Issue copies of the work to the public not being copies already in circulation.
c) make any translation of the work or
d) make any adaptation of the work. Adaptation includes any use of the work involving its rearrangement or
Whether registration of copyright is compulsory?
A copyright is an Unregistered Intellectual property right where the protection is AUTOMATIC and the
registration is NOT COMPULSORY but OPTIONAL and not a condition precedent for acquiring a copyright.
However, if the author of the Copyright desires to have the Copyright registered, he can make an application in
the prescribed form accompanied by the prescribed fees to the “Registrar of Copyrights” for entering the
particulars of the work in the “Register of Copyrights”. In the Register of Copyrights, the details such as a)the
names or titles of works and b)the names and addresses of authors, publishers and owners of Copyright and
such other prescribed particulars are entered. The Registrar of Copyrights shall act under the superintendence
and directions of the Central Govt.
The advantage of registration of a copyright is that the register of copyright shall be a primafacie (at the first
sight) evidence of particulars entered therein. A certified copy of an entry in the Register of Copyrights is taken
as a prima facie evidence in all courts without further proof of production of the original. Further, the
Registrar publishes in the Official Gazette, all entries made in the Register of Copyrights.
How long a copyright lasts?
A copyright lasts for a period of sixty YEARS(60) from the beginning of the calendar year next following the
year in which the Author dies. In case of a work of Joint ownership, the copyright would last for sixty years
from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the last surviving joint owner dies.
What is Infringement of a copyright?
The following amounts to infringement of a copyright, namely,
- Infringement of a copyright is anything done to the prejudice of the exclusive right of the owner of the
- Permits any place to be used for the COMMUNICATION of the work TO THE PUBLIC where such
communication constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work.
- when any person sells, hires, distributes, exhibits in public or imports into India, any infringing copies
of the work. Here it should be noted that import of one copy of the work for private and domestic use of
the importer is allowed.
Who administers the copyright Act or who is the Authority for the copyright?
The Central Govt., shall appoint a Registrar of Copyrights and may appoint one or more Deputy registrars
of copyrights. A Copyright office shall be established for the purposes of the Copyright Act and it shall be
under the immediate control of the “Registrar of Copyrights” who shall act under the superintendence and
control of Central Government.
Designs Act, 2000.
What is a design?
Expressing a mental conception in a physical form is designing which has become part and parcel of business
What are the objects of the Designs Act, 2,000?
1) Legal system for protection of Industrial design to be made more efficient.
2) To promote design activity in order to promote the design element in an article of production.
3) also to ensure that law does not give protection BEYOND what is necessary.
Design is defined under the Designs Act, 2000 as follows, namely:Design means only the features of 1)shape, 2) configuration, 3) pattern 4) ornament or 5) Composition
lines or colours
applied to any article
whether in two or three dimensional or in both forms
by any industrial process or means whether mechanical, manual or chemical,
separate or combined
which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye
but does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in
substance a MERE mechanical device,
and does not include
a) a trade mark
b) a property mark
c) any artistic work as defined in the Copyright Act.
Prohibition of registration of certain designs, namely:a) a design which is not new or original or
b) which contains scandalous or obscene matter
c) which are not significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs
d) have been disclosed to the public anywhere in India or in any other country by publication in tangible
form or by use or in any other way prior to the filing date or where applicable, the priority date of the
application for registration.
An application has to be made to the Controller. Controller means the controller General of Patents,
Designs and Trade Marks.
A design may be registered in respect of any or all of the articles comprised in a prescribed class of
articles. Where a design has been registered in respect of any article comprised in a class of article, the
application of the proprietor of the design to register it in respect of some one or more other articles
comprised in that class of articles shall not be refused, nor shall the registration thereof invalidated.
Publication of the Designs which are registered:The controller shall, as soon as may be after the registration of a design, cause publication of the
prescribed particulars of the design to be published in such manner as may be prescribed and thereafter
the design shall be open to public inspection.
What is the Tenure of a design?
Where a design is registered, the registered proprietor of the design shall have a COPYRIGHT in the
design during ten years from the date of registration.
Extension:- On an application being made before the expiration of Ten years, the controller may extend
the period of copyright for a Second period of Five years from the expiration of the original period of
Ten years. ( ie Ten + Five = Fifteen Years)
Infringement of Design:Any person liable for contravention (every contravention) has to pay to the registered proprietor of the
design, a sum not exceeding Rs.25,000/- recoverable as a “contractual” debt. The proprietor can also bring
a suit for damages for such contravention and for an injunction against repetition. The total sum recoverable
cannot exceed Rs.50,000/Miscellaneous matters:Designs Act contains provision for maintaining the Register of designs on Computer. The Act provides for
Compulsory registration of any document for transfer of right in the registered design.
----------------------------Geographical indications of goods(Registration and protection)Act, 1999.
- In order to protect the interest of both the consumers and producers, the TRIPS agreement has enjoined a
duty on all member states to enact a legislation to protect the “geographical indications”.
-“Geographical Indication” in relation to goods (goods means any agricultural, natural or manufactured goods
or any goods of handicraft or of industry and includes foodstuff)
means an INDICATION which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured
goods or originating or manufactured in the territory of a country or a region or locality in that territory
where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its
in case where such goods are manufactured goods,
one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned TAKES
PLACE IN SUCH TERRITORY, REGION OR LOCALITY as the case may be.
Indication:- It includes (ie it is an inclusive definition) any name, geographical or figurative representation
or any combination of them conveying or suggesting the geographical origin of goods to which it applies.
There is a register of Geographical Indications(GI). It is in two parts, namely,
Part A ,containing particulars of registration of GIs and Part B containing particulars relating to registration
of Authorised users.
Application for registration of a GI:- S.11 of the Act.
Who shall apply?
Any association of persons or producers or any organization or authority established by or under any law
for the time being in force representing the interest of the producers of the concerned goods, who are
desirous of registering a geographical indication in relation to such goods shall apply in writing to the
Registrar in a prescribed form with the prescribed fees.
Prohibition of Registration:- Section 9 of the Act.
The following GIs will be prohibited from registration, namely:-that which would deceive or cause confusion
-the use of which is contrary to law
-that which contains scandalous or obscene matters
-that which would hurt religious susceptibilities.
The Registration procedure is enumerated in Ss.11 to 14, consisting of application, advertisement of the
application, opposition to the registration, actual registration.
Once the GI is registered, an interested person can apply for registration as the Authorised user of the GI
under section 17. Any person claiming to be the producer of the goods in respect of which a GI has been
registered under S.16, may apply in writing to the Registrar for registering him as the Authorised User of
such GI. The procedure for registration of a GI also applies for registration an Authorised user of a GI.
Duration and the rights conferred by the Registration:The Registration is for a period of Ten (10) years AND it can be renewed from time to time (ie it is a
perpetual right). Registration of an authorized user is for a period of Ten (10) years or till the registration
of GI(of which he is the Authorised user) expires, whichever is EARLIER . If at the expiration of the time
prescribed in that behalf, those conditions are not complied with, the registrar may remove a geographical
indication or the Authorised user as the case may be from the Register.
Prohibition of Assignment:- Section 24 of the Act.
The right to GI cannot be assigned, transmitted, licensed, pledged or mortgaged. However, the right of the
Authorised User devolves on his successor in title.
Infringement and Action for infringement. Section 22 of the Act.
- An Unauthorised user using a registered GI a) by any means in the designation or presentation of goods
suggesting that such goods originate in a geographical area OTHER THAN THE TRUE PLACE OF
ORIGIN. b) in such a manner which constitutes an act of unfair competition including passing off in respect
of registered GI.
Proceedings can be instituted to prevent or to recover damages for the infringement of a registered GI.
-------------------------------------Protection of Plant varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2000.
Protection of Plant varieties either by “patents” or by an effective “sui generis (of its own kind, unique)
system” or any combination thereof.
Objectives:1) To protect and benefit the breeders of new plant varieties.
2) To protect and benefit the farmers as cultivators and conservers of traditional local plant varieties which
may be used in the development of new varieties
3) To encourage the growth of seed industry through domestic and foreign investments so as to ensure
supply of high quality seeds and planting materials to farmers.
How the right of breeders are protected?
The rights of the breeders are protected by granting them a monopoly to use and sell the seeds and planting
materials of the new plant varieties evolved by them through a system by which they are granted registration.
Such a registration is equivalent to a patent granted to the inventor in respect of manufactured goods.
Those who use the new plant varieties for purposes of business ie for the production and sale of seeds and
other planting material have to take a license from the breeder by paying him fees which may be treated as
Who is a breeder?
Breeder means a person or group of persons or a farmer or group of persons or any institution which has
bred, evolved or developed any variety.
Who can make an application for registration under the Act?
Section 16 of the Act gives the types of persons who can make an application for registration under the Act,
-Breeder, successor or assignee of breeder- any farmer or group of farmers or community of farmers-any
University or Publicly funded institution.
Criteria for making an application under the Act:1) Novelty:- Such a variety has not been sold or disposed off.
2) Distinctiveness:- clearly distinguishable by atleast one essential characteristics from any other variety.
3) Uniformity:- Uniformity in its essential characteristics(subject to variation that may be expected from
the peculiar features of its propogation).
4) Stability:- ie its essential characteristics remains unchanged after repeated or in the case of a particular
cycle of propagation, at the end of such cycle.
Tenure:The certificate of registration shall be valid for
- Nine(9)years in case of trees and vines.
Six(6)years in case of other crops
may be reviewed and renewed further, on payment of such fees, as may be fixed by the rules so that
the total period of protection will not be more than 18 years in case of trees and wines and 15 years
in case of other crops.
-------------------------------------------Semiconductor Integrated circuits layout-Design Act, 2002 [SICLD ACT,2002]
Semiconductor Integrated Circuits or Semiconductor IC.
What is the object of the Act?
It provides protection to Semiconductor IC Layout designs and matters connected therewith or incidental
What is a semi conductor IC?
Semiconductor IC means a product having transistors and other circuitry elements which are inseparably
formed on a semi conductor material or an insulating material or inside the semi conductor material or an
insulating material or inside the semi-conductor material and designed to perform an electronic circuitry
function. Every IC has a number.
What is a transistor?
It is a semi conductor device with three connections capable of amplification in addition to rectification.
In normal room (lower temperature), semiconductor acts as an insulator. If you increase the temperature, it
will conduct electricity. Semiconductor is an element like Gold, Germanium (a grey crystalline element
with semi conducting properties resembling silicon) and silicon are main components of semi conductor.
Layout design:- what is a Layout design?
Layout means a) the way in which something, esp., a page is laid out and b) a thing set out in a particular way.
“Lay out design” means a layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and includes lead wires connecting
such elements and expressed in any manner in a semiconductor integrated circuit.
What are the rights conferred on the registered proprietor of the Lay-out design?
The SICLD Act gives to the registered proprietor of the layout-design, the exclusive right to use the
layout design and obtain relief in respect of infringement. It may be noted here that the registration of a
layout design does not give monopoly rights but gives right to prevent infringement of the registered
layout during the period of registration
What constitutes infringement under the Act?
Reproducing, importing, selling, distributing the IC layout design for commercial purposes only constitutes
What are requirements to get protection under the Act?
-should not be commercially exploited
-distinct from the others already existing in the market.
What is meant by commercial exploitation in relation to semi conductor integrated circuits layout design?
Commercial exploitation in relation to semiconductor integrated circuits layout-design implies acts such
as sell, lease, offer or exhibit for sale or otherwise distribute such semiconductor integrated circuit for
any commercial purpose. Note:- A design not exploited commercially for more than 2 years from the date of
registration of application shall be treated as commercially exploited for the purpose of this Act.
What is the justification for protection of Semiconductor integrated circuits?
ICs are the base of electronic revolution. Lot of investment and R&D is required for creation of new layout.
This high investment and risk associated, forms a barrier for new entrant. However, when it comes to copying,
it is the easiest job in the world. It can be copied by merely taking photograph of each layer of integrated
Duration:- The term for an IC layout design protection is ten(10)years from the date of filing. The registration
of a layout design shall be only for a period of ten years counted from the date of filing of an application for
registration or from the date of first commercial exploitation anywhere in India or any country, WHICHEVER
.Who is the Authority under the Act?
The Central Govt., may, by notification in the official gazette appoint a person to be known as the Registrar
of Semiconductor integrated circuits layout design. There shall be established a registry which shall be known
as the Semi-Conductor Integrated Circuit Lay out design registry.
Who can obtain protection of Lay-out designs under the SICLD Act,2000?
Any person who
a) claims to be the creator of a layout design who desires to register it
b) is an Indian national or national of a country outside India, which accords to citizens of India similar
privileges as granted to its own citizens in respect of registration and protection of layout-designs and
c) has principal place of business in India or if he does not carry out business in India, has place of service
can apply for protection of layout-designs under the SICLD Act, 2000.
---------------------------------------------Biological Diversity Act,2002
Biological = Relating to Biology or living organisms. Biology = the scientific study of living organism.
Organism = a) an individual, animal, plant or single celled life form. B) a whole made up of parts which
are dependent on each other.
Biological Diversity encompasses the variety of all life on earth. With only 2.5 percent of the land area,
India already accounts for 7 to 8 per cent of the recorded species of the world. India is equally rich in
traditional and indigenous knowledge, both coded and informal.
The stake holders in Bio diversity include the Central Govt., The State Govt., Institutions like local self
Govt., scientific and technical institutions, non govt., organizations, industry etc., Communities are not
stake holders in the Bio diversity.
The object of the Act is to
A) regulate access to biological resources of the country with the purpose of securing
equitable share in benefits arising out of the use of (1) Biological resources and (2) associated knowledge
relating to biological resources.
What are Biological resources?
Biological resources means plants, animals and micro-organisms or parts thereof, their genetic (relating
to “genes or heredity” ) material and by products, excluding value added products with actual or potential
use of value, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE HUMAN GENETIC MATERIAL.
B) To conserve and sustainable use of Biological Diversity.
Biological Diversity means variability among living organisms from all sources and the ecological
complexes of which they are part and includes diversity within species or between species and of eco
C) To respect and protect KNOWLEDGE OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES related to Bio Diversity.
D) To secure sharing of benefits with local people as conservers of biological resources and holders
of knowledge and information relating to the use of biological resources.
E) Conservation and development of areas important from the standpoint of biological diversity by
declaring them as Biological diversity heritage sites.
F) Protection and rehabilitation of threatened species.
G) Involvement of institutions of self govt. in the broad scheme of the implementation of the Act
through constitution of committees.
Under this Act, no foreigner or an Indian who is Non-resident or an Indian in association with the
Foreigner can get any Indian biological resource without permission. It virtually creates a ban on transport
across the border any Indian biological resource. This ban and regulation is restricted to the use of Indian
biological resource by others for research or for commercial utilization or for bio survey and bio-utilization.
Collaborative research projects are exempted if such collaborative research projects are approved by the
C.Govt. and are drawn up as per the policy guidelines specified by the C.Govt.
What is bio prospecting?
Bio prospecting means exploration of wild plants and animals for commercially viable genetic and bio
What is Bio Piracy?
Bio piracy means misappropriation of folk wisdom of indigenous people by corporate/pirates to locate
and understand the use of medical plants and use this knowledge commercially and exploit it while the
indigenous people who made it all possible receive little or nothing in return.
UN Convention on Bio diversity 1992 (held in Rio de janerio) is a land mark in the environment and
development field as it takes for the first time a comprehensive rather than sectoral approach to the
conservation of Earth’s Bio diversity and sustainable use of biological resources.
Different Boards under the Bio diversity Act, 2002:1) National Bio diversity Authority(NBA), a body corporate with a perpetual succession.
S.19 provides for approval by NBA for undertaking certain activities, namely
-for obtaining any biological resource occurring in India.
-for applying for patent or any other form of intellectual property protection.
2) State Biodiversity Authority(SBA)
3) Bio diversity management Committees (BMCs)
MBAs and SBAs are required to consult the concerned BMCs on matters related to use of Biological
Resources and associated knowledge within their jurisdiction.
How can traditional knowledge be protected?
Protection of Traditional knowledge can be effected by protecting them under the heads of Intellectual
Property law like copyright, patents, Trademarks, Industrial design protection, Geographical indication
and appellation(formal name or title) of origin and through the laws of unfair competition.
Trade secrets:What are Trade secrets?
Any information which is of commercial importance in which skill and labour are involved for
development AND which is not ordinarily available to the public at large is broadly denoted as
“confidential information”, meaning confidential information is also known as “trade secrets”.
Confidential information is characterized by the obligation on the recipient of the information than by
any INHERENT right attaching to the information or the owner of the information.
Examples:- Chemical formulae, manufacturing process, financial information, machinery, devices,
Computer programmes, source codes, strategic plans, designs, customer lists, discounts given to
Customers, compilation of information, supplier information, business development strategies etc.,
In India, there is no legislation to protect Trade secrets.
Basis for protection of confidential information:Courts have regarded “confidentiality” as an attribute of ingenuity, skill and labour and have condemned
those who have reaped what they have not not sown or try to misuse the information given to them in
confidence. What is regarded as secret is not so much the end product, but the skill and labour, time and
effort that is involved in its evolution or development.
Trade secret and Patent, how different?
- patent is for an invention which is useful and “non-obvious’ to those in that field of art. “only after
Disclosure to Govt., that a patent is granted.
Confidential information is primarily founded on non-disclosure and on an obligation to keep information
- Confidential Information, unlike patent, need not be novel or new in its strict terms to qualify as protectable
Confidential information. All that is required is that the information must not be known to those in business,
should have commercial value and be maintained as a secret with an obligation on the recipient to keep it
- While patents fall in public domain after a certain period (20 years), there are instances, wherein trade
secrets have been maintained secret for several years, example, COKE FORMULA.
When Trade secret route is used?
Trade secret route is used, when:-Patents are unavailable(ie the invention is not patentable)
-Pending grant of Patent
-Patent enforcing mechanisms are weak.
-Part of technology can easily be kept secret.
-Trade secrets or Confidential information can be used together with patents or in isolation.
What are the strategies to protect and maintain trade secrets:- non-disclosure agreement
- However, mere paper contracts are not sufficient because it must be proved that efforts were taken
keep the information confidential.