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What Is Intellectual Property Right: Types Of Intellectual Property Rights

what are intellectual property rights

When you use your mind and create something that never existed before, such inventions and creations need protection. 

This is called Intellectual Property, and this includes inventing a new product or technology, artistic works such as a book, a painting, or a song, or it can be a logo, a new design for a business, commercial symbols, and more.

In this article, we will share what is IPR, and the types of IPR existing globally. We will also share the 7 critical objectives as enlisted by Govt to develop and nurture an ecosystem of intellectual property in India.

What Is IPR or Intellectual Property Rights?

New businesses and SMEs who are using a new invention or a new technology often have no clue about what is intellectual property rights (IPR) or the importance of IPR for their business.

This is a dangerous precedent and very risky: If your business doesn’t protect its intellectual properties, then anyone can steal them and make use of them.

IPR or Intellectual Property Rights refers to laws and regulations that protect the original creator of intellectual property such as a new technology or a book/song or a business logo/symbol.

India’s 1st ever National Intellectual Property Rights Policy was created and approved in 2016 for complying with the Doha Development Round and TRIPS Agreement. It has 6 objectives under the tagline of: “Creative India; Innovative India.”

7 Objectives Of National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

  • Create public awareness about Intellectual Property Rights in India
  • Stimulate the creation and growth of Intellectual Properties by Indians in India
  • Introduce strong laws to protect Intellectual Properties developed by Indians
  • Revamp of IP Administration: Modernise and improvise
  • To trigger balanced, fair, and optimized commercialization of Intellectual Property rights
  • To stop stealing and violation of IP rights by enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms
  • Empower institutions, human resource organizations for training and skilling Indians for creating better, more powerful Intellectual Properties

Types Of Intellectual Property Rights

As per WIPO or the World Intellectual Property Rights organization, there are six Types of Intellectual Property Rights:


Copyright is an intellectual property right that covers literary and artistic work created by writers, movie makers, painters, musicians, programmers. Legally, Copyright covers books, music, paintings, movies, sculpture, computer programs, algorithms, maps, advertisements, technical drawings, and more.


Patents are an intellectual property right that covers inventions. Once the inventor has patented an invention, then he or she decides how others can use this invention and whether this invention can be made available in the public domain or not. The patent also reveals that in exchange for revealing the details, what can the inventor receive and earn (royalties, one-time fees, etc.)


Trademarks are intellectual property rights that cover logos, symbols, or expressions used by one business or entity to distinguish from other businesses and entities. The tradition of trademarks dates back to ancient times when artisans stamped their ‘marks’ on their creations. Trademarks protect almost every successful business such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Uber, Netflix, and more.

Industrial Designs

Industrial Designs are intellectual property rights covering the design of an article or product. This can include both the ornamental and aesthetical aspect of the article or product. This design can be three-dimensional features such as shape and surface of an article or two-dimensional features, for example, colors, line, or pattern.

Geographical Indications

Geographical Indications are intellectual property rights that cover the origin of a good or service and recognize the qualities, reputation, and characteristics attributed to that place of origin. For example, if the Geographical Indications of Basmati rice is patented, no other company or country can claim that Basmati rice’s origin is not India.

Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets are intellectual property rights that cover the confidential information related to a commercial activity or business, which can be sold or licensed as per the business’s needs. In case any other entity or company uses that confidential information and trade secrets without proper authorization and licensing, then it’s an offense and violation of IPR. For example, the recipe of Coca-Cola was a trade secret since the late 1800s, when the inventor patented the recipe. 

Intellectual property in India is governed and administrated by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & TradeMarks (CGPDTM), which comes under Govt of India. It administers Patents, Designs, TradeMarks, and Geographical Indications.

The Copyright Law of India, amended by the Copyright Amendment Act 2012 governs all Copyright related intellectual property rights.

However, the intellectual rights concerning trade secrets are still a debatable issue. Currently, there are no specific IPR laws that cover trade secrets for businesses and commercial establishments in India.

However, several rulings and judgments are made on cases filed to protect trade secrets, which have been done by using existing laws and regulations, at the discretion of the bench.

Importance Of Intellectual Property Rights 

The most significant and most visible gain is an economic advantage: In the US, around $1 trillion of exports happen per year, only due to Intellectual Properties, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Besides, stronger IPR laws and regulations encourage more innovations, more creations, and more solutions: When the creators and inventors and artists are assured that their ideas and creations are protected, then they are able to freely create and devise solutions for the betterment of the country and the society at large.

Besides, IPR laws encourage competition and, overall, improves the entire ecosystem of innovation and solutions.

If you need more information and seeking answers to questions like What is Intellectual Property Law, What is IPR, what are types of intellectual property rights and more, then we at MSMEx can provide you help right away.

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