Types of Intellectual Property Rights

KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering

Chapter 14: Intellectual Property Laws

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5


Types of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property can consist of many types of intangibles, and some of the most common are listed below.

  • A patent is a propertyright for an investor that’s typically granted by a government agency such as the U.S. Patent etc.
  • Trademarks…
  • Copy right
  • Trade Secrets.

1. Patent

A patent is used to prevent an invention from being created, sold, or used by another party without permission. Patents are the most common type of intellectual property rights that come to people’s minds when they think of intellectual property rights protection.

 A Patent Owner has every right to commercialize his/her/its patent, including buying and selling the patent or granting a license to the invention to any third party under mutually agreed terms. 
There are three different categories that patents can fall under:

• Utility:

A utility patent protects the creation of a new or improved product, process, composition of matter, or machine that is useful.

An example of utility patent: Method for a driver assistance system of a vehicle US9772626B2

• Design:

A design patent protects the ornamental design on a useful item.

An example of design patent: Electric bicycle USD845178S1

• Plant:

A plant patent protects new kinds of plants produced by cuttings or other nonsexual means.

An example of plant patent: Crape myrtle plant named ‘JM1’  USPP31585P2

2. Trademark

Trademarks are another familiar type of intellectual property rights protection.  A trademark is a distinctive sign which allows consumers to easily identify the particular goods or services that a company provides.

Some examples include McDonald’s golden arch, the Facebook logo, and soon. A trademark can come in the form of text, a phrase, symbol, sound, smell, and/or color scheme. Unlike patents, a trademark can protect a set or class of products or services, instead of just one product or process.

3. Copyright

Copyright does not protect ideas. Rather, it only covers “tangible” forms of creations and original work–for example, art, music, architectural drawings, or even software codes.

The copyright owner has the exclusive right to sell, publish, and/or reproduce any literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, or architectural work created by the author.

4. Trade Secret

Trade secrets are the secrets of a business. They are proprietary systems, formulas, strategies, or other information that is confidential and is not meant for unauthorized commercial use by others. This is a critical form of protection that can help businesses to gain a competitive advantage.




Although intellectual property rights protection may seem to provide a minimum amount of protection, when they are utilized wisely, they can maximize the benefit and value of a creation and enable world-changing technology to be developed, protected, and monetized.

The Real Value of Intellectual Property

For some companies, IP assets are actually worth significantly more than their physical assets. According to a U.S. Department of Commerce report from March 2012, U.S. intellectual property today is worth approximately $5.06 trillion equivalent to 35% of the GDP.

Objective of Intellectual Property

The main objective of intellectual property law is to encourage innovation and to provide incentives for innovation by granting protection to inventors that will allow them to recover research and development investments and reap the benefits of their inventions for a limited period of time

Field in which Intellectual Property can apply

“Intellectual property shall include rights relating to:

  1. Literary, artistic and scientific works.
  2. Performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts.
  3. Inventions in all fields of human behavior.
  4. Scientific discoveries.
  5. Industrial designs.
  6. Trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations.
  7. Protection against unfair competition and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in industrial scientific, literary or artistic fields”.

Author – Dilip Kumar Rawat

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