Utility Models Protection In India

Intellectual property rights in India (IPRs in India) consists of copyright, patents, trademarks and domain name, design, geographical indications, trade secrets, etc. As far as patents are concerned, Indian Patent Act, 1970 governs the patents protection in India.

With the growing innovation, IPRs in general and patents in particular required a different outlook and protection. The technological issues of IPRs in India need to be kept in mind while formulating and amending the IPRs laws of India.

These would require not only ICT skills development in India but also techno legal IPRs skill development in India. Further, existing innovative inventions must also be protected in one form or other. Utility models protection can fill this much needed requirement.

Although utility models protection is available in many countries of the world, India is not extending any such protection. This is despite the fact that the utility model framework is well recognised in international treaties and conventions relating to intellectual property. However, protection of utility models has not been specifically mandated in the TRIPS Agreement and each country has freedom to limit the scope of protection depending upon its national policies.

Utility models protection would greatly help small, medium and rural sector industries and innovators. However, it needs a legal framework to be effective and implementable. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been seriously considering this issue and public inputs can be provided to it in this regard.