02nd April, 2016 (MAINS)


Q1. In a globalised world, intellectual property rights assume significance and are a source of litigation. Broadly distinguish between the terms – copyrights, patents and trade secrets.
[12.5marks/2014/GS-3] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Neha Jha

    Please Review:

    In the present competitive era, in order to claim the genuineness of an idea or inventions it is significant to choose among copyrights,
    patents and trade secrets.

    Copyrights: Copyright law applies to “works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression and applies
    automatically. A copyright covers literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works such as books, photographs, songs etc and also
    covers software etc.For eg, the code of virtually all software is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright prohibits the reproduction,
    distribution, modification, public performance and public display of software that is “substantially similar” to the original software.

    Patents: Patents protect “inventions” that are useful, non obvious and novel. Patents in India are
    governed by the Patents Act of 1970. Patents also cover improvements made to existing technology, in addition to new inventions, new
    methods of production etc.

    Trade secrets: Trade secret law protects any information that is not “commonly known” and which the company has taken reasonable steps to keep in confidence. The protection is more limited than patent and copyright protection. Trade secret could be commercial information or information pertaining to industrial manufacturing process.In India there is no any laws for trade secrets.

    • Shashank Garg

      Hi Neha.
      From now on I will be trying to answer the questions posted on this website on a daily basis. It would be helpful if we review each other’s answer. None of us are expert but we can improve each other.
      For starter I have wrote these two answers, it would be great if you could review them
      I would review your answers from now on and as I go on for writing answers for previous questions.
      Regarding this answer of yours:
      I think your answer is a bit heavier on the second part and loses out on the first part. Balancing both the parts would have been better. The definitions you wrote are very good and comprehensive.
      Hope that helps. Cheers :)

      • Neha Jha

        Hi shashank…
        Yeah sure, I’ll review…Was busy these days, couldn’t write answers for few questions. Will make it up. Thanks a lot for review.

        Let’s start attempting min. 3 questions a day…one from the present and two from the back date…starting right from the 27th Nov….So that, we will be able to cover all the previous yr questions. Hope that does well…

        • Shashank Garg

          That would be great. For today lets attempt 27-11, 28-11 and 22-04.

          • Neha Jha

            Have already attempted for 27th and 28th nov..22nd april and your answers review will be done @ late night.

  • Shashank Garg

    Intellectual property rights play an important role in innovation in all fields by incentivising the corporations and individuals. They are also important for ensuring fair pay to the creator for their work. But they are also prone to be misused by corporations by ring fencing and cascade patenting. Emphasis by developed nations and multilateral trade organizations and the difference in opinion between developed and developing world over intellectual property issues has been a reason for several litigations in courts as well as international dispute settlement bodies. While the developed nations want to secure more rigorous IPR laws to increase the profit of their corporations, developing nations being net importers of technology, on the other hand want a free access to technology by everyone.

    Copyrights: They refer to the rights over originally authored content such as a book, music, cinematograph film or a software programme.

    Patents: They are the rights over any original technological innovation. India has recently introduced process patents in Pharmaceuticals sector to honor the TRIPS agreement.

    Trade Secrets: They refer to any information of a company that is not in public domain and the company has taken significant steps to protect it. They can be the composition of a particular product or accounting information of the company or a specific process by the company.

    • Neha Jha

      First of all, I would like to highlight the word “broadly distinguish”. What I understood with this term is more emphasis is needed on the terms than the introduction itself, keeping in mind the word limit.
      Now, coming to your answer…Intro is really a good one…and taking account of my view the one line definition is not going work here. You will have to improve this part.Question is not asking “definition” it is asking “distinguish”. Mentioning TRIPS is well.
      You might disagree with my view.If yes, please let me know. Keep writing:-)

      • Shashank Garg

        I too feel I lacked on the definition side. I tried to write what I could recall from my memory and understanding. But I think ‘broadly’ means you just have to scratch the surface and not dwell deeper. I missed on the distinguish/ define part. Thanks for pointing that out.