Relevance and role of Intellectual Property Rights, Geographical Indications and Traditional wisdom and knowledge in sustainable development of the State

By | March 30, 2018



Intellectual property (IP) is a collective term used to describe new ideas, inventions, designs,  writings, films, etc. that are protected by copyright, patents, trademarks, industrial designs etc. Every country has a range of laws protecting IP. One of the most considerations is that IP may be stolen if the appropriate steps are not taken to protect it.

The IP system provides exclusive rights over the use of inventions, designs, brands, literary and artistic works and other tangible assets. Under IP system, one (owner) can export just the IP itself, without an accompanying product i.e. license to a company or companies registered overseas, the right to manufacture or sell the product. By this way, one can earn an additional profit while retaining ownership over the inventions, innovative designs and trademarks.


A Patent is an exclusive right granted for the protection of an invention. The patent provides its owner with the exclusive right to prevent others from commercially exploiting the invention for a limited period of time in return for disclosing the invention To the public. Thus the owner of the patent (patentee) can prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the patented invention without permission, and sue anyone who exploits the patented invention without his or her permission.

Patents may be obtained for any area of technology from paper clips to computers. The patent can be obtained by filing an application to the regional or national Patent Office along with the description of the invention and its comparison with the existing one. The patent right is given for a limited period of time, generally for 20 years from the filing date.


A trademark is a distinctive sign which distinguishes the goods or services produced or provided by one enterprise from those of another. In general, any distinctive words, letters, numerals, drawings, colors, pictures, shapes, logotype, labels or combinations of the above used to distinguish between the goods and services of different companies may be considered as a trademark. Different countries use trademark differently.

In Some, advertising slogans are considered as a trademark while others use less traditional forms i.e. three-dimensional signs (e.g. the Coca-Cola Bottle), audible signs (Sounds such as roar of the lion that precedes films produced by MGM) or olfactory signs. But many countries have set limits as to what may be registered as a trademark, generally allowing only signs that are visually perceptible or can be represented graphically. Thus the main functions of a Trademark are as follows :

  • Ensure that consumers can distinguish between products
  • Enable companies to differentiate between their products
  • A marketing tool and the basis for building a brand image and reputation
  • Provide an incentive to companies to invest in maintaining or improving the quality of their

One can protect one’s trademark by registering it. The registration would prevent others from
marketing identical or similar products under the same mark. One may license or franchise one’s trademark to other companies. The protection period of a trademark is unlimited (initially for ten years and renewal after every ten years)


A geographical indication is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that place of origin. The agricultural, natural and
manufactured goods are covered under GIs in India. Champagne, Tequila, Darjeeling, Roquefort, Pilsen, Porto, Sheffield, and Havana are some examples of well- known names that are associated throughout the world with products of a certain nature and quality and specific origin. Registration of geographical indications prevents unauthorized use of GI’s by others, promotes economic prosperity of the producers and enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries.

Geographical indications are protected in accordance with national law and under a wide range of concepts such as the law against unfair competition, consumer protection law, law for the protection of certification marks or special laws for the protection of geographical indications. Applicable sanctions range from court injunctions preventing the unauthorized use to the payment of damages and fines or, in serious cases, imprisonment. The protection period of a geographical indication is unlimited (renewal after every ten years).


Industrial design generally refers to a product’s overall form and function. According to IP law,
however, an industrial design refers only to the aesthetic aspects or outward appearance of a
product. Industrial design includes technical and medical instruments, watches, jewellery and other luxury items; from household products, toys, furniture and electrical appliances to cars and architectural structures; from textile designs to sports equipment. Industrial design is also applied to product packaging and containers. The industrial design consists of the three-dimensional features such as the shape of a product, the two-dimensional features such as ornamentation, patterns and lines or color, or combination of two or more of these.

There are many reasons for a business to protect their industrial designs as smart industrial designs are business assets and can increase the commercial value of the company. It plays a big role in the successful marketing of a wide variety of products, helping to define the image of a company’s brand. A protected design also provides an additional source of revenue for its company through licensing out to others, for a fee, the right to use, or by selling the registered design right. The protection period of Industrial design is 10 years (renewal after every 5 years).


Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted by the law of a jurisdiction to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt work. They are protected irrespective of their quality and they include purely technical guides and engineering drawings. While copyright laws generally do not provide an exhaustive list of the types of work that are protected by copyright, practically all national laws provide for protection of the following:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Work of art
  • Maps and technical drawings
  • Photographic works
  • Motion pictures
  • Computer programs
  • Multimedia products

The copyright laws protect only the form of expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves. 
The protection pattern is as follows : 

  • Literary works: Life time of the author + 60 years
  • Cinematographic Films, Records, Photographs: 60 years
  • Broadcasting: 25 years


The State Council for Science, Technology & Environment with support of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), Department of Science & Technology, (DST), Govt. of India has established HPPIC in 1998 to cater various Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) needs of the State.


  • To advise HP Govt. on IPR related Matters & Policy Issues
  • To create Awareness about IPRs in H.P.
  • To encourage scientists of Universities, R& D Institutions to file Patents
  • To provide technical assistance to Innovators & Institutions in preparing documents related to Patents/ designs and other IPRs
  • To provide Patent Search Facility to Inventors
  • To identify and register GIs of H.P.


  1. Kullu Shawls (2004)
  2. Kangra Tea (2005)
  3. Chamba Rumal (2007)
  4. Kinnauri Shawls (2008)
  5. Kangra Paintings (2012)
  6. Chuli Oil (2019)
  7. Kala Jeera (2019)
  8. Chamba Chappal (2021)
  9. Lahaul’s knitted Socks and Glvoer (2021)


  1. Chamba Chappals
  2. Kinnauri Caps
  3. Chamba Chukh
  4. Pule (embroidered grass shoes)
  5. Chamba Jaris
  6. Kullu Caps
  7. Red rice
  8. Traditional Lahauli Crafts (Gloves and Socks)
  9. Chilgoza
  10. Himachal Apples
  11. Traditional wines (Angoori)
  12. Pahari Aloo – Himachal Potato
  13. Seabuckthorn


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.

WIPO was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 with a mandate from its Member States to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. The present Director General is Francis Gurry. There are currently, 184 Member States, i.e. over 90 percent of the countries of the world . The mandate of WIPO is follows :

  • Developing international IP laws and standards
  • Delivering global IP protection services
  • Encouraging the use of IP for economic development
  • Promoting a better understanding of IP
  • Providing a forum for debate


  • Kath-Khuni architecture of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Rainwater harvesting using Khatri (where water is stored naturally) in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Cereal-based Traditional alcoholic beverages of District Lahaul-Spiti.
  • Traditional recipes of District Kangra (very famous) and other districts.
  • Gaddi Tribe of Himachal Pradesh having Handicraft heritage.
  • Indigenous water conservation systems prevalent in the state.
  • Traditional pre and postnatal dietary practices prevalent in district Kangra.
  • Traditional fermented foods of district Lahaul-Spiti.
  • Indigenous drip irrigation by Matka.
  • Smoke layer protects the mango plants from frost injury. This is a widespread practice mostly prevalent in the lower hills of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Use of loose boulders diversion dam with spillway in the center to reduce soil erosion.
  • Soil management by crop residue harvesting.
  • Traditional varieties of pickles  made up of Dehu, Lasura, Plum, Aaroo, Lingri, Kachnar and Galgal.
  • Medicinal and aromatic plants used in traditional health care systems prevalent in the Western Himalayas.

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