Why Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Are Important For Startups

September 2, 2019

5 min read

Read our insights on why Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are important for startups and small businesses.


Moon Goel

Consultant, Gurgaon

Why Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Are Important For Startups


Uniqueness and originality make a business stand out among the hundreds of substitutes available in the market. Businesses, especially small businesses and startups need to create a name in the market to compete with the large corporates which have become a household name and are well-known to consumers. This is when Intellectual Property (IP) contributes to the business’s growth. 

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property Rights are a combination of multiple rights vested in different kinds of Intellectual Properties. IPs protect the owner/creator’s rights in their original creation of mind and prevents others from exercising such IPRs without permission or license. Common Intellectual Properties held by businesses include:

  1. Trademark: Trademark helps in identifying and separating goods or services of a business from the other similar goods or services. Trademark registration can be obtained for a word, symbol, slogan, word, image or logo used by a business for commercial purposes. The validity of Trademark registration is 10 years, which can be renewed after paying the renewal fees.
  2. Copyright: Copyright subsists in the original work of an artist which can be literary, musical, artistic and dramatic in nature and includes videos, songs, movies, books, manuals, original databases, sound recordings, paintings, lyrics, sculptures, and even software in the form of computer programmes.
  3. Patent: Patent gives exclusive rights to the inventor of an invention in the form of a product and protects the invention from any unauthorised use, sale, manufacturing or distribution. In order to be patentable, an invention must be novel, have industrial application, and involve an inventive step. A Patent is granted to the creator for a period of 20 years.
  4. Design: Design registration is obtained for the aesthetic aspects or outward appearance that is applied to a product. Design is the original outward appearance of a product that is unique and distinct from any other existing product in the same category. Design protects the creativity that goes behind creating the aesthetics of a product by the business.

With growing competition and easily counterfeited products, it becomes essential for a young startup to protect its Intellectual Property Rights vested in its original creation. Cases of infringement, piracy and counterfeiting impact not only the goodwill of the business but also drastically reduces the overall revenue a business generates through its Intellectual Property. 

Rampant IP theft of small businesses has occurred over the past few decades due to the products and services becoming easily available over the internet. Small businesses usually lack the knowledge, expertise and resources to protect their ideas and products, and it becomes pertinent for startups and small businesses to get advice from IPR Consultants in India to protect their brand name, original creative creation or invention.

Having proper knowledge of IPRs can enable businesses to incorporate proper strategy and planning in protecting their IP from unauthorised use and infringement. Additionally, it is also important for small businesses to know about the different IPR laws applicable in India to know which law can be referred to while dealing with a particular Intellectual Property. 

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IPR Laws In India

The IPR Laws in India comprise of separate laws to deal with each kind of Intellectual Property and include:

  1. Trade Marks Act, 1999 for Trademarks
  2. Copyright Act, 1957 for Copyright
  3. Designs Act, 2000 for Industrial Designs
  4. Patent Act, 1970 for Patents

To get protection under these IPR laws in India, a business can consult top IPR Consultants to know about Trademark registration, Copyright, Patent Protection, and Design Registration process and requirements.

Importance Of Intellectual Property Rights For Small Businesses And Startups

To establish its presence in the marketplace, protect and manage its intellectual property, a business requires IPR protection which grants assorted rights to it. When a business knows that its innovation is protected and its presence can be established with IPs, it can lean towards innovation and come up with new creative ideas in the form of Copyright, Patent, Design or Trademark. Without protection for their ideas, businesses and individuals are unable to get the full benefits of their inventions and tend to ignore research and development of their product or service. 

The importance of IPRs for startups and small businesses can be summed up in the following points:

  1. IPRs provide an incentive to creators to turn their ideas into creation.
  2. IPRs give a separate identity and recognition to the original creation of the inventors and creators.
  3. IPRs are intangible assets of a business with monetary value.
  4. IPRs create trust between the business and its customers as they can rely upon the quality of products of services that come with Intellectual Property.
  5. IPRs enable the business to take legal action in case of infringement.

Without the protection under the IPR laws, a business is left exposed to unwanted infringement, cross-border IPR thefts, and international counterfeiting. Small businesses and startups are most vulnerable due to their lack of proper knowledge and resources that are required to protect their Intellectual Property. This makes it critical for startups to seek guidance from experienced IPR consultants, who can provide the needed support and approach to safeguard the business from IPR infringement. 

SeekWiser has a wide network of expert IPR consultants and Legal Consultants in India, who can provide the right advice to startups for the protection of their Trademark, Copyright, Patent or Design.