Types Of Intellectual Property Rights In India

Intellectual property is a special category of intangible property created by human intelligence in art, science, literature, and trade.

Because Intellectual property is a unique creation of the mind, it is intangible. Therefore, intellectual property rights are privileges given to the creator to reveal their creation in the public domain. However, this property does not apply to material things such as books, computers, and mobiles.

With different types of intellectual property, the creator has the right to use, sell, distribute, offer, or restrict other people from using it.

Intellectual property law

The scope of intellectual property is so broad that it has many aspects. However, many nations are to fully explore the area. Intellectual property was originally a concept designed to cover the ownership of literary or artistic work by patent and trademark.

Intellectual property may be in the form of the work, invention, and the relationship between the symbol and business.

However, the concept covers the patent, trademark, artistic work, designs, model, neighbouring rights, and plant production rights protecting them from unfair competition.

In simple words, the inventor of the machine, writer of music, or author of the book usually ‘owns’ their work.

Such ownership guarantees that no one can copy or buy a copy of that work without their permission.

Nature and scope of intellectual property

Intellectual property is the legal right that safeguards the rights of the creator or inventor by granting them a certain time limit to control the use of their production.

Article 2(viii) states that intellectual property includes:

  • Literary, artistic and scientific work,
  • Phonogram and broadcast,
  • Inventions of human endeavour,
  • Scientific discoveries,
  • Industrial design,
  • Trademark, service mark, and commercial name,
  • Protection against unfair competition,
  • All other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary, or artistic field.

The area mentioned as literary, artistic and scientific work covers the copyright branch of intellectual property.

The area mentioned before as phonogram and broadcast covers the ‘related rights,’ that is, rights related to copyright.

The area mentioned before as invention, industrial design, trademark, service mark and commercial name is constituted in an industrial property branch of intellectual property.

The scope of intellectual property covers the following:

  1. Trademark
  2. Patent
  3. Literary work
  4. Artistic work
  5. Trade name
  6. Designs
  7. Models
  8. Neighbouring rights
  9. Typographics
  10. Plant production rights
  11. Semiconductor products
  12. Databases
  13. Trade secrets
  14. Unfair competition
  15. Industrial design
  16. Performances

Types of intellectual property rights

Trade secret

A trade secret is a type of intellectual property that refers to the private information of a business that is not known to everyone. It is generally a secret not known to everyone, and reasonable efforts have been made to keep it confidential.

Examples: New inventions, processes, and market strategies.

A trade secret is a secret you do not want your competitor to learn. If the company does not take suitable actions to keep a secret, it loses the ability to claim a trade secret.

For example, suppose a company has divulged a confidential future marketing strategy to another person without mentioning it as a non-disclosure agreement or failed to label it as personal. Such a case is not covered under the trade secret.


Copyright is among the types of intellectual property that protects the original work of authorship, painting, photography, music composition, recording, blog posts, books, movies, architectural work, and computer programmes.

For example: If you do not want your work to be reused by any other person without your permission, you have the right to copyright your work.


The patent is limited-period security to protect an invention. When a property owner holds the right to the patent, under the law, another person cannot offer to sell, make, or use the product.

In the case of an inventor discovering anything new for any business, then the inventor makes a patent so that no one else can claim your idea.

For example: If you have any unique ideas about a revolutionary product that you know that can benefit several people, and you can protect your idea by filing a patent right.

Patent rights are of three types:

  • Utility patent
  • Design patent
  • Plant patent

A patent is generally expensive to handle, and requires payment of yearly fees for maintenance of the right.


Any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these components that defines your goods can be trademarked. It distinguished one source of goods from the other.

For example: a symbol of any brand that can be easily identified

Trademark can be a brand identifier for your business—image, slogan, logo, and colour can be trademarked.

Trademarks prevent outsiders from taking advantage of the goodwill of the owner’s business brand that has grown over the years.

Differences between the types of intellectual property

Trade Secret





Confidential business information.

Creative work


Brand identifier.

Protection begins

Upon creation

Upon fixation

Upon registration

Upon use


As long as it keeps secret.

Lifetime + 70 years

20 years.

As long as you want to use it.



Gives extra protection


Gives additional protection


– KFC 11 herbs and spices.

Books, paintings etc.

Coca-cola bottle shape.

Apple, Nike etc.

Procedure of registration

Registration of trademark

  • Select the trademark agent
  • Determine the availability and eligibility of the trademark
  • Complete the form and filings
  • Review from the trademark office
  • Preliminary approval and publication
  • Registration

Registration of copyright

  • Filing.
  • Examination.
  • Registration.

Registration of patent

  • Check the patentability of an invention
  • Drafting patent application
  • Filing the patent application
  • Publication
  • Grant of the patent
  • Renew


Therefore, the different types of intellectual property rights protect various inventions from misuse.

Intellectual property is a ‘creation of the mind‘, and it safeguards inventors from duplicating their inventions.

These days every business wants the protection of such rights. The creator gets the benefits from their innovation—economic benefit and recognition. So, intellectual property rights create a desire to be more creative, leading to market growth.


What are the functions of a trademark?

Identify the goods, guarantee their unchanged property, advertise them, and create an image of goods.

Is it possible to remove the trademark from the register of trademarks?

Yes, the aggrieved person through application can have the trademark removed or cancelled.

How long does the copyright last?

It has lasted for 70 years.

Can more than one person copyright something?

Yes, the works created by two or more people can have joint ownership of copyright.

How do I sell my copyright?

You can sell your copyright through a contractual agreement.

Can more than one person copyright something?

These specifications are elaborated under Sections 3 and 4 of the IP act.