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Title: Interfaces and Synergies between Intellectual Property Rights and Consumer Protection Law in India: An Analysis
Authors: Singh, Amit
Suman, Tulip
Thripura, V
Keywords: Consumer protection regime;Fair competition;Trademarks;Consumer rights;Unfair trade practices;Infringement;Geographical Indications
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract:   Globalization has made the world smaller by integrating the global markets. It has given consumers a greater choice of products and brands with lower costs. However, this has also exposed them to various unfair practices adopted by the producers. It is generally recognized that a strong intellectual property right (IPR) regime is a critical precondition for enhancing and stimulating economic growth in the country. It facilitates greater investment into research and development as well as provides means to improve the quality of life of people of the country. IPR not only protects the innovative and creative capacity of competitors and owners of IP rights that supply goods and services, but it also concerns itself with the interests of the consumers of those goods and services, directly or indirectly. The existence of such rights is necessary for overall development of society. The areas of intellectual property that are most relevant for consumer protection are Trade Marks, Geographical Indications and Protection against unfair competition. These IP rights help the consumers in buying quality products and protect them from use of substandard products which may cause health and safety hazards. Thus, the proper operation of IP rights and their enforcement is very important for consumers. Further, it is the core of the IP system that people of the country must be protected from unfair competition, that is, from any act of dishonest practice in trade and business.

  Protection against unfair competition has been recognized as one of the main objectives of intellectual property system, which prohibits any act of competition that is contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters, referred to as "unfair competition". The acts of unfair competition not only adversely affect the competitors, which tend to lose their customers and market share; but also affect consumers as they are likely to be misinformed and misled and tend to suffer economic and personal prejudice. Whatever form unfair competition may take, it is in the interest of the honest and legitimate entrepreneur, the consumer and the public at large that they should be prevented (protected) from it as early and as effectively as possible. Free and fair competition between enterprises is considered to be the best means of satisfying supply and demand in the economy as well as of serving the interests of consumers and economy as a whole. This stimulates innovation and productivity and leads to the optimum allocation of resources in the economy; reduces costs and improves quality; as well as accelerates economic growth and development. The paper attempts to undertake a review of the above interfaces between IPR and Consumer Protection regime in India.
Page(s): 201-209
ISSN: 0975-1076 (Online); 0971-7544 (Print)
Appears in Collections:JIPR Vol.20(4) [July 2015]

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