If we look at the properties of Intellectual property, they can be segregated into two main categories – tangible and intangible. Utility designs, work processes, artistic works, logo designs, geographical indications and other such novel creations that allow the individual or business developing them to reap monetary benefits.
Every inventor has the right to monopolise their invention and ensure no one else duplicates it for monetary gains. This is where IPR plays a critical role. As such, they need to protect their creations by registering patents, copyrights, trademarks and/or industrial designs. For this, an inventor is required to follow a due intellectual property right registration process, and here’s a step-by-step guide on how IPRs are registered in India.
Irrespective of whether an individual or a business requires an IPR, it’s advisable to hire a professional well-versed in the field of intellectual property registration to guide you through the registration process for your IP. Here’s what you need to do.
While filling out the IPR application form, it is important to create a triplicate application that has both the applicant’s and the agent’s signatures. Besides the application, the applicant must also submit a statement of the case that explains how and why the invention is unique.
An examiner will evaluate the application for any deficiencies after it gets submitted. If there are any, they will be required to be fixed within a month of filing the application. A group of experts who are well-versed with this category of IPR will also assess the content of the statement to ascertain the accuracy and the validity of the particulars furnished. The analyst will then issue an examination report.
The applicants are informed in case the registrar has an issue with the application. The objection raised needs to be responded to within a stipulated timeline of two months., after receipt of the communication. Some applicants also apply for a hearing and can make an appeal request for the same within a month. In case they are unable to communicate the case strongly to the registrar, the latter has the right to withdraw the application despite being presented with the opportunity to appeal.
The application then gets published in the IPR Journal within three months of the registrar accepting it.
Another inventor with a similar product may file a notice of opposition, after viewing the applicant’s invention in the IPR journal. If any person has any objection to the application, they must submit the opposition notice within three months. The applicant receives a copy of the opposition notice from the registrar, and they will have two months to send counterstatement. If they fail to submit the counter-statement, the registrar deems the applicant has forfeited application. Both, the applicant and the party filing the notice of opposition will have to provide evidence through supporting documents and affidavits. They may also have to make the case through a formal hearing with the registrar.
IPR registration is the final step. Once the IPR application gets accepted, the applicant receives a seal stating that they are the rightful owner of the IPR.
The process of registering IPR may sometimes appear time-consuming, but it is worth the effort. Before deciding to register an IP, it is essential to ensure that no other party has invented or created a similar product or design. Doing homework before filing for IPR can expedite the intellectual property rights registration process, helping the applicant gain sole credit for their inventions.