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The Right Idea – Guide to Intellectual Property Rights

Ideas and knowledge or intellectual capital underpins the development of economies. The worth of ideas is considered intellectual property that has to be protected, albeit with conditions. And, so Intellectual Property Right (IPR) are the legal right resulting from intellectual activity in the scientific, literary and the artistic fields. The genesis of intellectual property rights and the very premise of intellectual property were identified as early as the 18th century. IPR allows the creators of ideas to enjoy certain exclusive rights for a limited period on intangible assets to control the use made of those productions. Following closely, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886, extended intellectual property to the realm of copyright. This codified the right of artists to their creations. In 1893 both these united to form the United International bureaus for the protection of Intellectual Property Organisation under the UN through the Stockholm Convention in 1967. Talking of Intellectual property law of India, Abhilasha Kambhat, a specialist in IPR and a Lawyer at Rajasthan High Court says: “It is only in the last 15 to 20 years that people have become more aware of IPR. Government and private sector initiatives to disseminate knowledge about the subject through interactions with industries and other stakeholders have been one important reason for this positive change”Amarjit Singh, seminal authority on IPR and Managing Partner, Amarjit and Associates, an Intellectual Property boutique firm in Delhi, believes that economic liberalisation has tremendously changed the IPR regime. Shruti Sondhi, Managing Associate at Anand and Anand Associates, one of India’s top law firms in the fields of IPR says that IPR will only grow from strength to strength.

But IPR is not without its fair of criticism. Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software GNU project, believes that the term intellectual property itself is flawed as it is used as an overarching umbrella to incorporate different elements like copyright, patents, trademarks. India will face challenges in the IPR arena as more cases come to light.