Selected Intellectual Property Law Issues for Consideration in Licensing in India


A potential source of substantial problems in international licensing arises because of the differences in the national intellectual property rights. As software and other technology transactions between parties based in the United States and those based in India proliferate, such parties face an evergrowing need to be fluent with one another’s intellectual property regimes.

U.S. courts, for example, are likely to look at the law of India to determine who owns the rights in software developed in India for a U.S. customer. The failure to acquire all necessary rights from the right person under the law of India, then, may have unexpected and unintended consequences in the U.S. Similarly, a U.S. licensee of a work originally made in India must be knowledgeable about

the intellectual property law of India to make sure that the Indian licensor is really the owner. Otherwise the licensee may face an infringement action by the real foreign owner or another U.S. licensee who has licensed rights from the proper owner.

This paper generally addresses the intellectual property laws of India and how they differ from those of the U.S. We have focused on select topics that are commonly at the core of issues that may arise between parties engaged in cross-border technology transactions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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