Contemplating IPR Its Challenges And The Future From India’s Frame Of Reference


The 21st century can be described as the age of technology, information, and, indeed, the intellectual regime. In this regime, the capacity of the country to turn the knowledge into an investment for gaining wealth decides its future. Therefore, innovation and creativity become the key for turning knowledge into wealth. Thus, concerns of generation, evaluation, and protection likely become vitally important worldwide. In this article, importance is placed on the effect of the IPR in building a strong country backbone and what are the challenges it holds.

The growth in the Indian economy depends on the country’s impact on Intellectual Property (IP). The country’s Research & Development (R&D) status has been enhanced by establishing new technology, incubation centers in various parts of the country, and providing financial aid to the technicians. IPRs are territorial rights that have a fixed term and can be reactivated by making payment of official fees after a specified time as defined under the law.


Intellectual property rights (IPR) are defined as ideas, inventions, and creative expressions based on which there is a public willingness to assign the status of property[i]. IPR confers certain exclusive privileges to inventors or creators of that property to allow them to take advantage of their commercial advantages. Many types of intellectual property rights exist, such as patents, copyright, trademarks, etc.

India has taken decisive measures to improve in the aspects of IPR. The first Indian Patent Act, for example, came in 1856. Furthermore, Indian patent system has changed from time to time. Patent law in the form of the Indian Patent Act 1970 was drafted after independence. Subsequently, it was changed according to the TRIPS provision. Changes were implemented in IPR in 2005. When the process of putting forward the amendments was ongoing, India became a member of the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Budapest Treaty, and eventually signed the TRIPS Agreement to meet both the foreign and national standards.


IPR plays a significant role in every sector today and is now an important research component for pharmaceutical and research-oriented industries. The Government’s ongoing efforts in policy-making, IT security, technology, IPR search engines, and personnel have made this field a step forward. Considering all the successes, our industry still faces alarming problems not just at the domestic but also at the international stage.

Firstly, in India IPR lacks its origins in remote areas, these areas are believed to be the cradle of inventions. Most citizens are also unaware of IPR and the benefits of taking intellectual property rights or their creations and innovations. In these situations, the government should be promoting IPR awareness in these remote areas. It is important to organize a large number of awareness camps and educational hubs for the skillful advancement of ideas among the inventors.

Secondly, a legal problem plays a major part in the country’s IPR situation. Today numerous matters relating to trademark and patent infringement are gaining importance in the country’s legal narrative. A qualified team of lawyers and IPR practitioners are needed in such an increase in IPR matters.

India has now become an affiliate of TRIPS and our patent scheme complies entirely with TRIPS. While the Indian Patent Act contains all the flexibilities of the TRIPS, the specific provisions demand refinement, especially of those relating to patent rights, licensing, and government users.


As far as the topic of intellectual property is concerned, the main issues are not the different types of legal issues. The key issue is awareness about the norms and rules, and appropriate enforcement of the same. In India the system of intellectual property rights has very strong laws. However, there are many loopholes, as it is not being effectively implemented. The reason it happens is that the questions of intellectual property are not given any primary focus. It is a significant challenge to encourage both the judiciary and law enforcement officials to consider issues relating to intellectual property rights alongside other economic offenses.

The infringement of intellectual property is also likely to happen through the counterfeiting of copyrights and copyright piracy. This could even threaten the public at large. Showcasing intellectual property digitally has become simpler than ever with the introduction of new technologies and the use of the internet. But this positive development comes with its problems as well. While intellectual property rights apply on the internet, regulating them is not very straightforward. Digital works are very easy to copy as they are relatively cheap and carry decent quality. Published works of any kind are all very vulnerable to online piracy. It is quite hard to monitor all cases in which intellectual property rights are not recognized on the internet. It is difficult to bring the culprits to justice. Infringements upon well-known trademarks occur in various fields from clothing, cigarettes, food and beverage, etc. to all kinds of industrial machinery. Counterfeit products are publicly sold in the market at half or even one-third of authentic products’ prices.

Vietnam is a good example of an infringement of IP. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology statistics, the number of IP infringement cases has complicatedly increased in Vietnam.[xi] In 2018, 1,811 infringements of industrial property rights were handled administratively with a collective fine of VND 23,908,875,000, which is about $US1.10 million. Out of this, infringement laws are still trademarks for 1717 cases.

By encouraging innovation and creativity, intellectual property rights have thus, by far been a blessing for mankind. It has been increasing economic development and generated employment and markets.  Abuse of such rights, will, therefore, weaken the purpose of granting them. Their misuse generates nothing but higher costs and depleted business growth.


Indian policymakers have claimed that moving towards a stronger IPR is likely to operate in favor of India ‘s interests, which are to ensure access to essential goods for the vast majority of its people. Given that international multinational corporations (MNCs) are at the technological frontier in most sectors, they have also argued that a strong IPR could lead to a transition of rents to MNCs, many of which are established in the most powerful country in the world. IPR could encourage MNCs to launch more innovative goods or shift technologies in India, some of which may also flow over to domestic companies. As a result, they suggest that a strong IPR in developing countries like India will possibly spark innovation globally and promote faster economic growth.

Artificial Intelligence is the next digital domain of intellectual property and access to information and data is a significant technical component. According to Francis Gurry, Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), India seems to be doing an extremely fine job, holding a leadership role.

Indeed, the future of India’s intellectual property law is bright because it is closely linked to economic development. There are more valid IP Rules, it will be safer for our international investment. IP laws include patents, copyrights, trademarks, geographical labels, designs, etc. It can also be concluded that the laws relating to these provisions and the subsequent enforcement are in the preliminary stage.


In the present scenario, various significant measures have been taken in raising IPR to a new height and conformity with the IPR system of USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office), EPO (European Patent Office) and other countries and further measures have been assumed to be taken. However, people are still skeptical about the applications of IPR and the benefits of taking intellectual property rights for their creations. In these situations, the government should encourage IPR awareness not only in remote areas but throughout the country.

“Intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century. Look at the richest men a hundred years ago; they all made their money extracting natural resources or moving them around. All today’s richest men have made their money out of intellectual property” – Mark Getty

[i]VankayalaPhanindra. et al., A REVIEW ARTICLE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR), IJRPNS, July. – Aug 2013, at 466, 466

This article has been written by Vatsal Bhargava, Undergraduate Student [ B.A.LL.B. (Hons.)] Institute Of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad

Read Also: How to Respond to A Copyright Infringement Notice?

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