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Intellectual Property Rights News for UPSC Exam

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

  • Intellectual property rights (IPR) are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names and images used in commerce. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.
  • These rights are outlined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary or artistic productions.
  • The importance of intellectual property was first recognized in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886). Both treaties are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:

(i) Copyright and rights related to copyright:

  • The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.

(ii) Industrial property: Industrial property can be divided into two main areas:

  • Protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks and geographical indications.
    • Trademarks distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.
    • Geographical Indications (GIs) identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
    • The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and to protect consumers, by enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services.
    • The protection may last indefinitely, provided the sign in question continues to be distinctive.
  • Industrial designs and trade secrets: Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. In this category fall inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets.

India and IPR

  • India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and committed to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement).
  • India is also a member of World Intellectual Property Organization, a body responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property rights throughout the world.
  • India is also a member of the following important WIPO-administered International Treaties and Conventions relating to IPRs.

National IPR Policy

  • The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016 was adopted in May 2016 as a vision document to guide future development of IPRs in the country.
  • It’s clarion call is “Creative India; Innovative India”.
  • It encompasses and brings to a single platform all IPRs, taking into account all inter-linkages and thus aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies.
  • It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario.
  • Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has been appointed as the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee the implementation and future development of IPRs in India.

Odisha’s Rasagola – GI Tag

  • Odisha gets GI tag for its version of Rasagola
  • The name of the geographical indication will be read as “Odisha Rasagola“.
  • West Bengal got GI tag for its ‘Banglara Rasagola’ which has been existing since 1863.
  • Now both Odisha and West Bengal has GI Tag for their own version of Rasagola.
  • The mention of the word ‘rasagola’ was found in the 15th Century Odia Dandi Ramayan written by the medieval poet ‘Balaram Das’.
  • It is made with chhena (cottage cheese) cooked in sugar syrup, which is very soft, juicy and non‐chewy and can be swallowed without teeth pressure.
  • In its ‘Ajodhya Kanda’, there is an elaborate descriptions of chhena and chhena‐based products including rasagola.
  • Odisha is celebrating the ‘Rasagola Dibasa’ every year on the day of  ‘Niladri Bije’ (Return of Lord Jagannath from Rath Yatra into the temple).
  • The deities are offered Rasagola by servitors before entering the temple.

GI  Tag

  • A Geographical Indicator tag for a particular product, is a ‘legal right’, recognises it as distinctive to a particular locality or region or country.
  • As a member of the WTO, India had enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999, which came into force from 2003.
  • The tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness of the product.

Erode Turmeric

  • Recently Erode’s unique slender turmeric received a GI tag for its distinctive fragrance and colour.
  • Erode’s turmeric is smaller and more slender when compared with other varieties, and it has a high curcumin content of around 3.9%.
  • The loamy red and black soil of the Erode region is believed to be the reason behind the distinctive brilliant yellow colour, as well as its characteristic sweet taste and aroma.
  • Due to these distinctive features erode turmeric is the preferred choice of commercial curry powder manufacturers in India and abroad.

Turmeric Production in India

  • India is the world’s largest producer of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family.
  • The plant’s underground stems or rhizomes have been used as spice, dye, medicine and religious maker since antiquity.
  • Telangana is the largest grower of turmeric in the country (followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu).
  • Turmeric is labour and water-intensive crop, so farmers grow it along with onions, tapioca and coconut or sugarcane.
  • The spice’s colour comes mainly from curcumin, a bright yellow phenolic compound that has been in the news for its ostensible potential to fight cancer.
  •  As a result, the demand for turmeric with high curcumin content has risen from pharmaceutical companies.

Kandhamal Haldi

Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric), famous for its healing properties, has received GI tag.

Key facts:

  • The golden yellow spice, named after the district where it is produced, has been cultivated since time immemorial and is known for its medicinal value.
  • Turmeric is the main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal. Apart from domestic use, turmeric is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
  • More than 60,000 families (nearly 50% of Kandhamal population) are engaged in growing the variety. The crop is sustainable in adverse climatic conditions.

Mamallapuram Stone Sculptures

  • The hand-crafted stone sculptures of Mamallapuram have been recently granted the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.
  • The exquisite rock-sculpting techniques exhibited in Mamallapuram date back to early 7th century CE.
  • The Pallava dynasty, which ruled the area between 6 and 9th centuries A.D., is responsible for the development of port town as a centre of art and architecture.
  • Mahendravarman (AD 580-630), his son Narasimhavarman I Mamalla (AD 630-668), Paramesvaravarman (A.D. 672-700) and Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha (A.D. 700-728) had contributed the most of sculptures.
  • Mamallapuram was named after the king Narasimhavarma Pallava, who was also known as Mamallan (great wrestler).
  • Sculptors use blue metal for stone sculptors instead of granite which has high density and very costly.

GI tags

  • Tamil Nadu is first among the states in India with regard to the number of GI tags for its products, while Uttar Pradesh comes second.
  • Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product to get a Geographic Indication in the early 2000s.
  • Tamil Nadu has submitted 50 products of which 24 have been approved by the registry.
  • The most famous among these is the Kanchipuram silk.
  • Coimbatore wet grinder, artisans of Vadasery in Nagercoil who make dazzling jewellery of a unique kind for temples, Tanjavur Dancing Doll are some of the products that have obtained the GI certificate.

Geographical Indication Tag

The government has allotted Geographical Indication (GI) tags to four new products from the states of Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Kerala. These products are:

  • Palani Panchamirtham, is one of the main religious offerings to Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple, situated in palani hills in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu.
    • It is a combination of five natural substances, namely, bananas, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion.
    • This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
  • Tawlhlohpuan, a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs that are made by hand.
  • Mizo Puanchei, a colourful Mizo shawl/textile, from Mizoram, is considered as the most colourful among the Mizo textiles.
    • It is an essential possession for every Mizo lady and an important marriage outfit in the state. The weavers insert the designs and motifs by using supplementary yarns while weaving to create this beautiful and alluring textile.
  • Tirur betel vine from Kerala, which is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayats of Malappuram District, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties.

GI Tags of 2019-2020

GI Tags 2019-2020
Kandhamal Haladi Agricultural Odisha
Rasagola Food Stuff Odisha
Kodaikanal Malai Poondu Agricultural Tamil Nadu
Pawndum Handicraft Mizoram
Ngotekherh Handicraft Mizoram
HmaramHandicraft Mizoram
Palani PanchamirthamFood Stuff Tamil Nadu
Tawlhlohpuan Handicraft Mizoram
Mizo Puanchei Handicraft Mizoram
Gulbarga Tur Dal Agricultural Karnataka
Tirur Betel Leaf (Tirur Vettila)Agricultural Kerala
Khola Chilli Agricultural Goa
Idu Mishmi Textiles Handicraft Arunachal Pradesh
Dindigul Locks Manufactured Tamil Nadu
Kandangi Saree Handicraft Tamil Nadu
Srivilliputtur Palkova Food Stuff Tamil Nadu
Kaji Nemu Agricultural Assam

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July 2024