This article on ‘Licensing of Intellectual Property in the Era of the Internet’ was written by Khadeeja Zaidi, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
Intellectual property pertains to product accountability. This includes ideas, schemes, sketches, compositions, and manifestations. Additionally, it makes reference to electronic media, such as online sound and video clips. The purpose of IP law should be to enhance the rights of customers as well as copyright owners. Current intellectual property legislation is still relevant in the electronic era. The article handles the degree and inclusion of several IPRs, licenses, the Internet, and digital laws.
The Globalisation of Intellectual Property Rights
As it relates to commerce and agreements, IPR has become a major concern for international innovation. The most significant effort is to create a global system for protecting intellectual property. Globalisation in general and the sharing of information between developed and poor nations are significantly impacted by TRIPS. The protection & regulation of IP should, in accordance with Article 7 of TRIPS, contribute to the encouragement of technical advancement and transfer, and also to the collective gain of the users and producers of such technical expertise, as well as to the establishment of all necessary developments and the harmony of privileges and responsibilities.
Licensing of Intellectual Property in India
Written License Agreement
Whenever a company decides to licence its intellectual property, it must consider the various IPR kinds and pertinent legal laws to determine if a formal agreement is necessary. PVR Pictures Ltd. vs Studio 181 entered into a Term Sheet Agreement wherein the parties have agreed for PVR shall be the only licensee for said rights distribution. Based on that clip they violated their sole distributing licence, and PVR later initiated a lawsuit for infringement.
Additionally, they should be offered temporary respite. It was determined that TSA doesn’t really represent a licencing agreement and also that the parties could not execute that agreement. The PVR furthermore doesn’t really have any sort of legal standing or copyright hold to consider the lawsuit.
Conditions of a License Agreement
The licencing agreement is ought to be carefully designed, contain all necessary information, and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. To stop the writing process, the agreement must include all of the specific licencing conditions that are necessary, as well as the geographic region, the rights provided under the granted rights, and provisions regulating the cancellation of the licence.
Intellectual property authority for changes, upgrades, and additions
An individual has the liberty to design as well as to develop and upgrade to current technology or to add any new features that will improve outcomes. But they ought to be thinking about how licenced technology is developing.
The quality should play a significant part and should essentially be approved by the holder of a brand to guarantee that the licensor retains the standard management over the goods, as per the Indian trademark law. The licencing agreement related to quality control is crucial as well.
Royalty, Stamp Tax, and Registry
Any licensing agreement that is intended to be signed has to be registered; otherwise, consequences shall follow. The laws related to Intellectual Property require the registration of licencing agreements. The stamp fee differs from place to place, thus it’s critical to assess its value in a given jurisdiction. If the stamp fee has still not been billed for the agreement, it cannot be considered as evidence or used for other such purposes.
The scope and depth of the agreement among the parties, as well as the parties’ dominating positions in the market, determine the royalties. The royalty varies by situation, and holders might levy a fee depending upon the gross sale value of the finished product. The CCI has reached many conclusions on the prices of royalties. It was determined that offering multiple licence costs for a similar thing violates FRAND requirements.
Why upgrading India’s copyright laws is necessary for the electronic era?
There have lately been discussions about modifying the Copyright Act of 1957, with arguments that the usage of the Internet and digitalization has grown both locally and worldwide, and that companies are changing in response to these developments. As per the Report of Consumer Inside of Music dated 2018, which was published by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry, almost 95% of Indian users listen to music online. In 2020, there was a spike that was more than double that of 2019.
It was asserted that, in view of this unfortunate circumstance, it could be vital to have concerns about both the digital revolution and web copyright. The goal of copyright is to maintain harmony among the individuals who create content and those who may use them. They are also considering the beat and the owner’s need to obtain voluntary licences.
It should also be mentioned that India’s copyright restriction only lasts 60 years, compared to other nations’ restrictions of up to 100 years. As the Internet has grown over the past two to three years, it is now essential for it to be safeguarded. Copyright sectors like printing and audio-visual multimedia should also be digitised to cut distributing costs, eliminate economic restrictions, and preserve creative work.
According to the required data-sharing system, the balance of benefits and accessibility in the copyright statute should be discussed with copyright holders. India revised Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act in accordance with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, providing protection for both data and literary works. Nevertheless, the Draft of National E-commerce Policy of 2019, is violative of the global obligations and local IP regulations in the year 1994.
Although they have cited and emphasised at length, they have also benefited from network effects while using this enormous quantity of data. In Himalaya Drug Co. vs Summit2, the Delhi HC recognised that the firm has devoted substantial time, labour, talent, plus expense to maintaining an awful database, and plus the defendant had violated the copyright by copying the data on their webpage.
Licencing agreements have become a major concern for international innovation. The most significant effort is to create a global system for protecting intellectual property. Licencing agreements ought to be carefully designed, contain all necessary information, and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. Quality should play a significant part and should be approved by the holder of a brand. The goal of copyright is to maintain harmony among the individuals who create content and those who may use them.
India’s copyright restriction only lasts 60 years, compared to other nations’ restrictions of up to 100 years. The balance of benefits and accessibility in the copyright statute should be discussed with copyright holders.
- 1 CS (OS) 1164/2009 AND I.A. Nos. 8193/2009 (U/O 39 R 1 & 2) & 8194/2009
- 2 126 (2006) DLT 23, 2006 (32) PTC 112 Del
- The TRIPS agreement covers: copyright and related rights; trademarks including service marks; geographical indications including appellations of origin; industrial designs; patents including the protection of new varieties of plants; the layout-designs of integrated circuits; and undisclosed information including trade secrets and test data.
- Davis, L. 1999. Impact of the Patent System on the Innovating Firm’s Use of Knowledge.
- National Academy of Sciences 1997. Intellectual Property Rights and Plant Biotechnology.
- Obhan and Associates- Article on IP licensing in India.