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Trademark, Patent and Copyright in India

Have a brilliant new idea in your mind that you’re sure will make you rich? Register a patent, trademark or copyright with the government to protect your artwork or product/services from imitators.

All three provide a legal shield against imitators trying to copy and make a buck off your innovative idea. Majorly there are three types of intellectual property

However, there is a specific type of intellectual property for each designation, so it’s important to know the differences.


Copyright laws under IPR protects authors, artists and other creators’, for their literary and artistic creations, generally referred as “works of authorship.” For as long as the copyright is protecting the authorship, the copyright owner owns therights to display, perform, share or license. The “fair use” doctrine is one exception; distribution of copyrighted material for scholarly, educational or news-reporting purposes can be distributed to some degree.

The beneficiaries of related rights are:

  • Performers (such as musicians, actors etc.,) in their performances
  • Producers of phonograms (such as CD) in their sound recordings and
  • Broadcasting organizations such as TV and radio programs

Works covered by copyright are not limited to novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers, advertisements, computer programs, databases, films, choreography, paintings, musical compositions, drawings, sculpture, photographs, architecture, maps and technical drawings.

The duration of registration of copyright depends on the type of the work. For instance, In case of literary, musical, or artistic work it extends throughout life and 60 years after the death of authors. However, some work such as, cinematography, films, photographs the protection is valid for the duration of 60 years from the year in which the work is made available to the public. In case of a dramatic, literary, artistic or musical work, copyright is valid until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following year in which the work is first published provide that they are published anonymously/pseudonymously.


A trademark is a distinctive sign or mark that helps in the identification of certain goods or services produced/provided by an individual or a company. The concept of trademark was originated in ancient times when craftsmen use to mark their artistic works/products. Over the years, these marks have evolved into trademark. A consumer can identify a product or service with the help of trademark< which they are purchasing. In other words, it helps the consumer to distinguish a brand name from others in the same field and also helps the goods or services provider/producer to protect its name, logo, slogan etc. Trademark can be registered by an individual or company forduration of ten years. In addition to this, after the payment of prescribed fees the duration of a trademark can be renewed for ten years indefinitely.


A patent is an exclusive right granted by the government for an invention – that offers a new technical solution to a problem or a product/ process that provides a new approach of doing something. By obtaining a patent any owner of such product or services can protect their invention. Patent protection means an invention cannot be commercially used, distributed or sold without the patent owner’s consent. Further, it’s completely a patent owners’ will, who may or who may not use the patented invention for the period during which it is protected. Patent’s protection is valid for a limited duration of 20 years from the date of filling of the application.

The Bottom Line

The decision to obtain a copyright, trademark or patent depends on the type of intellectual property you’re trying to protect. Whether it’s a logo or creative work, registering your ideas or innovation with the government ensures you to enjoy the fruits of your innovative work.

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