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Film And Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, facilities exist for having the work registered in the Register of Copyrights maintained in the Copyright Office of the Department of Education. The entries made in the Register of Copyrights serve as prima-facie evidence in the court of law. Procedure for registration of a work is covered under Chapter VI of the Copyright Rules, 1958


Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.





Lifetime + 60 years


Lifetime + 60 years


Lifetime + 60 years

Artistic work

Lifetime + 60 years

Anonymous/Pseudonymous works

60 Years

Posthumous work

60 Years

Cinematograph Films

60 Years

Sound records

60 Years

Government work

60 Years

Public undertakings

60 Years

International Agencies

60 Years


60 Years


10 Years + 5 Years

Subject to Renew


25 Year


25 Year

Performer's Performance

50 Years


No Copyright

Computer Programme

60 Year


20 Years

Trademark Registration (TM)

10 Years

Subject to Renew


Only helps to register TM

Geographical Indication

10 Years

Subject to Renew

Cheap Layout Design

10 Years

Crops Tree/Vine Variety

18/15 Years

Copyright law in India

The Copyright Act of 1957, The Copyright Rules, 1958 and the International Copyright Order, 1999 governs the copyright protection in India. It came into effect from January 1958. The Act has been amended in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999. Before the Act of 1957, copyright protection was governed by the Copyright Act of 1914 which was the extension of British Copyright Act, 1911

Civil Remedies for Copyright Infringement

A copyright owner can take legal action against any person who infringes the copyright in the work. The copyright owner is entitled to remedies by way of injunctions, damages and accounts.

The Criminal Offence

Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in any work commits criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. one lakh

International Copyright

Copyrights of works of the countries mentioned in the International Copyright Order are protected in India, as if such works are Indian works. Copyright of nationals of countries who are members of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Universal Copyright Convention and the TRIPS Agreement are protected in India through the International Copyright Order. The list of such countries is mentioned in the schedule of the International Copyright Order, 1999.

Procedure for registration of a work under the Copyright Act, 1957

a. Application for registration is to be made on Form IV (Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules ;

b. Separate applications should be made for registration of each work;

c. Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules ; and

d. The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favour a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed.

The following Statement of Further Particulars should be submitted in triplicate along with the Application for Registration of Copyright (Form IV) -

1. Is the work is to be registered

a. An original work?

b. A translation of a work in the public domain?

c. A translation of a work in which Copyright subsists?

d. An adaptation of a work in the public domain?

e. An adaptation of a work in which Copyright subsists?

2. If the work is a translation or adaptation of a work in which Copyright subsists:

a. Title of the original work

b. Language of the original work

c. Name, Address and Nationality of the author of the original work and if the author is deceased, the date of deceased.

d. Name, Address and Nationality of the Publisher, if any, of the original work

e. Particulars of the authorization for a translation or adaptation including the name, address and nationality of the party authorizing.

Time taken for registration

After filing application and receiving diary number the applicant should wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright office against the claim that particular work is created by the applicant. If such objection is filed it may take another one month time to decide as to whether the work could be registered by the Registrar of Copyrights after giving an opportunity of hearing the matter from both the parties. If no objection is filed the application goes for scrutiny from the examiners. If any discrepancy is found the applicant is given 30 day's time to remove the same. Therefore, it may take 2 to 3 month's time for registration of any work in the normal course. The cooperation of the applicant in providing necessary information is the key for speedy disposal the matter. Any person aggrieved by the final decision or order of the Registrar of Copyrights may, within three months from the date of the order or decision, appeal to the Copyright Board.


NOTE_01: Trademark Jurisdiction for filing application

A trade mark application should be filed at the appropriate office of the Registry within whose territorial limits, the principal place of business in India of the applicant is situate. In the case of joint applicants, the principal place of business in India of the applicant will be that of the person whose name is first mentioned as having a place of business. If the applicant has no principal place of business in India, he should file the application at that office within whose territorial jurisdiction, the address for service in India given by him is located. No change in the principal place of business in India or in the address for service in India shall affect the jurisdiction of the appropriate office once entered.

Location and Jurisdiction of Trademarks Office

01. Location: Trade Marks Registry, Mumbai (Head Office) Intellectual Property Bhavan, Near Antop Hill Head Post Office, S.M. Road , Antop Hill, Mumbai 400037 Tel: 022-24101144, 24101177, 24148251, 24112211 Fax: 24120808, 24132295
Jurisdiction: State of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.

02. Location: Trade Marks Registry, Delhi Intellectual Property Bhavan, Plot NO.32, Section 14, Dwarka, Delhi Tel. 011-28082915/16/17
Jurisdiction: State of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Union Territory of Delhi and Chandigarh

03. Location: Trade Marks Registry, Kolkata, CP-2, Sector V, 5th floor, I.P. Bhavan, Salt Lake, Kolkata700091, Telefax. 033-23677311
Jurisdiction: State of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura and Union Territory of Nagaland, Andamar & Nicobar Island.

04. Location: Trade Marks Registry, Ahmedabad, 15/27 National Chambers, 1st floor, Ashram road, Ahmedabad - 380 009. Tel: 079-26580567
Jurisdiction: The state of Gujarat and Rajasthan and Union Territory of Damman,Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli

05. Location: Trade Marks Registry, Chennai IP building, GST Road, Guindy Chennai-600032 Tele: 044-22502041, Fax: 044-22502042
Jurisdiction: The state of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Union Territory of Pondicherry and Lakshadweep Island.

NOTE_02: Design
Any person who desires to register a design is required to submit the following documents to the Design Wing of the Patent Office at "Intellectual Property Office", CP-2, Sector V, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700 091 or any of the Branch Offices of the Patent Office at Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The applications received by the Branch Offices will be transmitted to the Head Office for processing and prosecuting.

NOTE_03: Patent
The Patent Office, under the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, performs the statutory duties in connection with the grant of patents for new inventions and registration of industrial designs. Patent Offices are located at Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi to deal with the applications for patents originating within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

NOTE_04: Legal Heirs
Provided also that the author of the literary or musical work included in a cinematograph film shall not assign or waive the right to receive royalties to be shared on an equal basis with the assignee of copyright for the utilisation of such work in any form other than for the communication to the public of the work along with the cinematograph film in a cinema hall, except to the author's legal heirs or to a copyright society for collection and distribution and any agreement to contrary shall be void. Provided also that the author of the literary or musical work included in the sound recording but not forming part of any cinematograph film shall not assign or waive the right to receive royalties to be shared on an equal basis with the assignee of copyright for any utilization of such work except to the legal heirs of the authors or to a collecting society for collection and distribution and any assignment to the contrary shall be void.