Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work..
Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematography and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.
The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright in an idea.
Copyright subsists throughout India in the following classes of works:
" Cinematograph film ? means any work of visual recording on any medium produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and " cinematograph " shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films.
" Indian work " means a literary, dramatic or musical work,
Copyright protects the rights of authors, i.e. creators of intellectual property in the form of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings.
In the case of a literary, dramatic or artistic work made by the author in the course of his employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship, for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, the said proprietor shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright in the work in so far as the copyright relates to the publication of the work in any newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, or to the reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published, but in all other respects the author shall be the first owner of the copyright in the work.
In the case of a cinematograph film, copyright means the exclusive right
Once a performer has consented for incorporation of his performance in a cinematograph film, he shall have no more performer's rights to that performance.
Copyright of nationals or countries who are members of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Universal Copyright Convention and the TRIPS Agreement are protected in India through the International Copyright Order.
A copyright owner can take legal action against any person who infringes the copyright in the work. The copyright owner is entitled to remedies by way of injunctions, damages and accounts.
The District Court concerned has the jurisdiction in civil suits regarding copyright infringement.
Yes. Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in any work commits criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act.
The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs.50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. one lakh.
Any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may, if he is satisfied that an offense in respect of the infringement of copyright in any work has been, is being, or is likely to be committed, seize without warrant, all copies of the work and all plates used for the purpose of making infringing copies of the work, wherever found, and all copies and plates so seized shall, as soon as practicable be produced before a magistrate.
Yes. A police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector can seize without warrant all infringing copies of the work.
Is Copyright protected in perpetuity ?
No. It is protected for a limited period of time.
The general rule is that copyright lasts for 60 years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60 year period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations, the 60 year period is counted from the date of publication.
In every language, an industrial design generally refers to a product's overall form and function. An armchair is said to have a " good industrial design " when it is comfortable to sit in and we like the way it looks. For businesses, designing a product generally implies developing the product's functional and aesthetic features taking into consideration issues such as the product's marketability, the costs of manufacturing or the ease of transport, storage, repair and disposal.
From an intellectual property law perspective, however, an industrial design refers only to the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of a product. In other words, it refers only to the appearance of an armchair. Although the design of a product may have technical or functional features, industrial design, as a category of intellectual property law, refers only to the aesthetic nature of a finished product, and is distinct from any technical or functional aspects.
Industrial design is relevant to a wide variety of products of industry, fashion and handicrafts from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items; from household products, toys, furniture and electrical appliances to cars and architectural structures; from textile designs to sports equipment. Industrial design is also important in relation to packaging, containers and " get - up " of products.
Enterprises often devote a significant amount of time and resources to enhancing the design appeal of their products. New and original designs are often created to:
1. Customize products to appeal to specific market segments:
Small modifications to the design of some products (e.g. a watch) may make them suitable for different age groups, cultures or social groups. While the main function of a watch remains the same, children and adults generally have very different tastes in design.
2. Create a new niche market :
In a competitive marketplace, many companies seek to create a niche market by introducing creative designs for their new products to differentiate them from those of their competitors. This could be the case for ordinary items such as locks, shoes, cups and saucers to potentially expensive items such as jewelry, computers or cars.
3. Strengthen brands:
Creative designs are often also combined with distinctive trademarks to enhance the distinctiveness of a company's brand(s). Many companies have successfully created or redefined their brand image through a strong focus on product design.
An industrial design adds value to a product. It makes a product attractive and appealing to customers, and may even be its unique selling point. So protecting valuable designs should be a crucial part of the business strategy of any designer or manufacturer.
By protecting an industrial design through its registration at the national or regional intellectual property office, the owner obtains the exclusive right to prevent its unauthorized copying or imitation by others. This makes business sense as it improves the competitiveness of a business and often brings in additional revenue in one or more of the following ways:
By registering a design you are able to prevent it from being copied and imitated by competitors, and thereby strengthen your competitive position.
When an industrial design is protected by registration, the owner is granted the right to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation by third parties. This includes the right to exclude all others from making, offering, importing, exporting or selling any product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied. The law and practice of a relevant country or region determine the actual scope of protection of the registered design.
Let us assume that your company has designed an umbrella with an innovative design, registered it at the national IP Office, and has therefore obtained exclusive rights over umbrellas bearing that design. What this means is that if you discovered that a competitor is making, selling or importing umbrellas bearing the same or substantially the same design you will be able to prevent him from using your design and, possibly, obtain compensation for damages which your business has suffered from the unauthorized use of that design. So, while you cannot stop competitors from making competitive products you may prevent them from making products that look just like yours and having a free ride on your creativity. For details on how to enforce your rights you are advised to consult an IP lawyer.
As a general rule, to be able to be registered, a design must meet one or more of the following basic requirements, depending on the law of the country:
Designs that are generally barred from registration in many countries include the following:
To register a design in your own country you must generally take the following steps:
The Trade Marks Registry was established in India in 1940 and presently it administers the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the rules made thereunder. It acts as a resource and information Centre and is a facilitator in matters relating to trademarks in the country.
The objective of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is to register trademarks applied for in the country and to provide for better protection of trademark for goods and services and also to prevent fraudulent use of the mark.
The main function of the Registry is to register trademarks which qualify for registration as per provisions of the Trade Marks Act and Rules, and to maintain the Register of trademarks.
After accession to the Madrid Protocol, a treaty under the Madrid System for international registration of trademarks, the Trade Marks Registry also functions as an office of origin in respect of applications made by Indian entrepreneurs for international registration of their trademarks and as an office of the designated Contracting party in respect of international registrations in which India has been designated for protection of the relevant trademarks.
The Head Office of the Trade Marks Registry is at Mumbai and branch offices are at Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. For the purposes functions related to international applications and registrations under the Madrid Protocol, an International Registration wing is set up in the Head Office of the Trade Marks Registry at Mumbai.
Apart from the above, the Registry has to discharge various other functions like offering preliminary advice as to registrability; causing a search to be made for issue a certificate under Section 45(1) of the Copyright Act, 1957 to the effect that no trademark identical with or deceptively similar to such artist work as sought to be registered as a copyright has been registered as a trademark; providing public information and guidance to the public on the subject; providing information to various government agencies including Police, Central Excise personnel, Public Grievance Redressal, maintenance of top class IP library, the production of annual statistical report, production of official Trade Marks Journal in electronic form and submit an Annual Report to Parliament.
The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks heads the TRADE MARKS Registry offices and functions as the Registrar of TRADE MARKS. He, from time to time, assigns functions of the Registrar to other officers appointed by the Central Government and such officers also function as Registrar in respect of matters assigned to them.
Presently all the functions of the Trade Marks Registry are performed through an automated Trade Marks System. The Central Server of TMR is at Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Building in Delhi and Disaster Recovery server is at IPO, Mumbai. All branches of the Trade Marks Registry are connected to the main server in Delhi with Virtual Private Network (VPN). All the actions done by the office staffs through the TMS are recorded in the central server on real time basis.
Under the provisions of section 159 of the Patents Act, 1970 the Central Government is empowered to make rules for implementing the Act and regulating patent administration. Accordingly, the Patents Rules, 1972 were notified and brought into force w.e.f. 20.4.1972. These Rules were amended from time to time till 20 May 2003 when new Patents Rules, 2003 were brought into force by replacing the 1972 rules. These rules were further amended by the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2005 and the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2006. The last amendments are made effective from 5 th May 2006.