What is the difference between IPR and patents? Every first-time inventor thinks this at some point. By completing or registering for the appropriate Intellectual Property Rights, you, as the creator, can get exclusive control of your idea. You can apply for a patent, intellectual property right or IPR if you have invented something exceptional, one-of-a-kind, and entirely unknown. If you stop to think about it, our world is filled with fresh concepts, inventions, and works of art. Only a few inventions are declared patents, even though thousands of people visit the patent office every day to submit patent applications for their inventions.
But each new invention has the possibility of improving our lives and making them more comfortable than they were before. According to a KPMG report from 2018, India was ranked as the third-largest innovator in the world, especially in technology. But someone has come up with every new idea and every new creation. Giving appropriate credit for inventions to the person or organisation who made them is essential. IPRs, or intellectual property rights, are necessary for this situation. However, a lot of individuals commonly mix up IPR with patents. We have therefore emphasised the differences between IPR and patents.
The difference between IPR and patents – Comparing the definitions
We must first understand their definitions to understand the difference between IPR and patents.
What are IP and IPR?
Intellectual property generally refers to IP, whereas intellectual property rights are related to IPR. Original, new creations and inventions that differentiate or set one firm apart from another are known as “intellectual property” (IP). The entire monopoly and financial benefits for their intellectual property should go to the creators. Under the scope of intellectual property rights, inventors and innovators are given these rights.
IPR, in general, is a broad field that includes numerous inventions and works of art. There are laws in existence that can protect your creative methods, works of literature, and other innovations. Intellectual property rights are the name of these laws. All inventions and discoveries, especially Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, and Patents, are usually subject to IPRs.
What is a patent?
A patent protects discoveries and creative works as an intellectual property right. When you develop something, you can apply for a patent, allowing you to save your creation. After evaluating if your idea is novel, the Patent Office grants you a patent in about two to three years. You can use the patent’s protection under IPR legislation to utilize your innovation appropriately, including by establishing a company or licencing it.
You receive the patent rights from the Indian government in the form of a certificate that also works as a legal document protecting your ownership of your innovation. Once you apply for a patent, you can file a lawsuit against people and organisations who copy or replace your designs for financial advantage. Patents are now only given in India to focus more on development. However, nations like Australia, China, and most European nations permit innovators to file utility and plant patents.
Patent vs IPR – the key differences
So, what is the difference between a Patent and IPR? Let’s break down the differences between the two.
- General vs standalone
All forms of discoveries and creations, including new designs, classic literature like novels, movies, songs, etc., and trademarks like company logos, are secured by universal laws known as intellectual property rights (IPR). In addition to patents, IPR also protects trade secrets and business processes. On the other hand, a patent comes within the broad category of IPRs and is a document or legal certificate granted for preserving a design, utility, or innovation.
- Categories and sub-categories
Depending on the fields and types of inventions or creations, IPRs are further separated into many kinds. Trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents are among the categories. There are particular subcategories for patents. Asexually reproduced plants, utilities, and designs are acceptable for patent protection. Patents for machines, producers, compositions of materials, and improvements to these categories are further categorized under the utility patent group. One can only file a design patent application in India. However, they can apply utility and plant patterns in several international nations.
3. Laws governing Patents and IPRs in India
All of the IPR subcategories are secured by intellectual property law. IPRs are protected in India by several Acts, such as the Copyright Act of 1957, the Trade Marks Act of 1999, and the Geographical Indications of Goods Act of 1999, all of which are subdivisions of the Principal IPR law. On the other hand, laws like the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act of 2000, the Information Technology Act of 2000, the Patents Act of 1970 (as amended in 2005), the Designs Act of 2000, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Act of 2001, and the others cover patents and patent protection.
4. Filing and Applicability
IPR and patents differ from one another in terms of filing and application. Creators don’t need to register for trademarks or copyrights because these IPR laws are often universal and instantly applicable everywhere. To get special rights, a patent application must be made. Furthermore, unlike other IPRs that are internationally applicable, the Patent only applies within the nation in which it is filed. However, creators can also apply for a national or international patent.
It isn’t easy to evaluate the difference between IPR and patents because they are interdependent. You should know the various IPR rules and types if you’re an inventor or innovator. You can use patent experts and attorneys to assist you through the patent filing procedures while submitting an IPR for a patent.