PG Diploma in Clinical Research

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR’s) and its Importance

In many cultures and scriptures the knowledge about the use of traditional plants was through. This was passed on within families from generations to generations. These were highly nourished but hardly any of it was documented; and if it was written then it was in local languages, which were pretty difficult to interpret. (Biswal M 2003)

This form of un-standardized documentation resulted in conflict in awarding the patents. The owners were not benefitted with rewards instead had a difficulty in proving themselves. This also led to conflicts in conservation of such medical value plants, as the resources were exploited by both the patentee and holders of these valued products. Finally this resulted in endangering such valuable products. Hence the need of establishment of strategies to be followed on intellectual property rights (IPRs) (Biswal M 2003).

The roots of the laws and administrative procedures of IPR have been first seen in Europe. The trends of awarding patents began during 14th century. The first known copyrights were seen in Italy, while Venice pioneered the laws the of IP system as most legal thinking and rest followed it. In India patents laws were much recently observed, in 1856 the first act was established based on British patent systems.

According to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) refers to the legal rights given to the inventor or creator to protect his invention or creation for a certain period of time. IP is nothing but legal rights which confer an exclusive right to the inventor/creator to fully utilize his invention/creation for a given period of time (Chandra Nath Saha & Sanjib Bhattacharya 2011).

It is now a known fact that IP plays a vital role in the modern economy. IPR is a strong tool which protects investments, time, money, effort which were invested by the creator of an idea/product, as IPR grants the creator an exclusive right for a certain period to fully utilize the creation. This results in the economic development by promoting a healthy environment towards new ideas and creations. (Chandra Nath Saha & Sanjib Bhattacharya 2011).

IP is divided into two categories:
1) Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and
2) Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances.

1) Chandra N & Bhattacharya S., 2011, Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, Intellectual property rights: An overview and implications in pharmaceutical industry 2(2): pp 88–93.

2) WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization (2012), Jan 21st 2012,

3) Biswal M & Biswal D, 2003, Issues Relating To Traditional Knowledge Systems And Intellectual Property Rights (Iprs),

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