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Legal Affairs & IPR


Intellectual property protection is the key factor for economic growth and advancement in the high technology sector. They are good for business, benefit the public at large and act as catalysts for technical progress. Whether IPRs are a good or bad thing, the developed world has come to an accommodation with them over a long period. Even if their disadvantages sometimes outweigh their advantages, by and large the developed world has the national economic strength and established legal mechanisms to overcome the problems so caused. Insofar as their benefits outweigh their disadvantages, the developed world has the wealth and infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities provided. It is likely that neither of these holds true for developing and least developed countries.

Patents benefit none other than the owner of the IP and add value to all industrial as well as business concerns and laboratory discoveries and in doing so provide incentives for private sector investment into their development. Anyone in the above business should have an independent Research and development (R&D) center. Offering free R&D and processes in over enthusiasm must be avoided.

Globalization and the rapid proliferation of technology have elevated the importance of intellectual property protection for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The intangible nature of intellectual property and the worldwide inconsistency of standard practices create challenges for those businesses wishing to protect their inventions, brands, and business methods in foreign markets. The three most common vehicles for protecting intellectual property are patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization advocates a strong and effective intellectual property system. Strong intellectual property protection is essential to the success, and in some instances to the survival, of the biotechnology companies in this country. For these companies, the patent system serves to encourage development of new medicines and diagnostics for treatment and monitoring intractable diseases, and agricultural products to meet global needs. While giving holistic interpretation to TRIPS agreement public health should be the prime consideration rather than merely protecting the interest of the companies.

In the era of knowledge age or information age, the fundamental unit of most products and services is information-- in one or another form. Have you seen that n-number of websites, virtual enterprises and virtual products? All these rest upon the cornerstone of 'information': in digital or non-digital form. These have become the top IPR issues, this Internet shall bring several new IPR issues to the fore. In several cases such information is of proprietary nature, hence, the investment in that information product, knowledge product or the virtual product must be protected to encourage other similar initiatives. With increasing worldwide access to electronic distribution, the damage caused by piracy to content producers may completely destroy the value built in their intellectual property.

The same context is valid in the case of companies who have earned consumer recognition for their brand names and trade marks. A recognized brand name or trade mark represents the goodwill that has been built into the product or service. Consumers tend to associate the recognized brand name or trade mark with certain characteristics that are specific to that name or mark. Therefore, companies should manage, protect and safeguard the investment in the related intellectual property rights. Not only this, they should be vigilant if anyone else is misusing or causing infringement of this Intellectual property.

That is the crux of the intellectual property rights: to give credit where, and when, it is due. With the emergence of the knowledge society and virtual products, the issue of safeguarding the investment in the information-based products has certainly gained high importance. We, as consumers or producers in the information chain, cannot afford to be ignorant about the intellectual property rights!! Thus protection of IPR has definite (tangible) benefits, such as to propagate innovative culture, profitability, market leadership and helps creation of wealth for the individual and the nation. India falling one among the developing countries have miles to go, as she has a vulnerable collection of traditional, oral, folklore, customary, agricultural, traditional medicinal like Ayurveda etc. and besides not having much wealth and infrastructure, lack of awareness of IPRs among all stratas of people, is a major set back to a developing country like India.