Intellectual Property as a Safeguard for Food and Beverage Industry
India is the second-largest nation in the world after China and is experiencing rapid growth with enhanced literacy, evolving habits increased employment and increasing per capita income thus generating new opportunities for the food and beverage industry which would upsurge the scope of Intellectual Property Protection in the food and beverage industry.
The Role of IP in Food and Beverage Industry:
Intellectual Property plays a major role in the growth of the trade sector and eventually in general business development. It even has a vital role in the food and beverage industry from the manufactures of ingredients and creation of recipes to the labeling, marketing, and branding of the finished products.
Intellectual Property Rights in food and beverages have safeguards under patents, trademarks, copyrights, and designs. These rights are extremely valuable especially when a business is becoming successful and emerging its domain.
Role of Patents in Food Industry:
A patent is an exclusive right given for public disclosure of an invention by the Government to an inventor. Food Patent is a kind of “utility patent” protecting edible items, methods, and formulations related to foodstuff. For Example: For making a Tomato Sauce the claim on both composition and process would be included and granted as a utility patent.
Utility Patents are categories of patents applicable to the food and beverage industry. They can be acquired for a food recipe, food composition, and cooking techniques. Some criteria for the grant of a utility patent are as follows:
- It should be a Novel/ Original Composition.
- It should be Non-Obvious creation which means that it should have a technical step involved. So, someone skilled also cannot make it by merely using the ingredients.
- It should have a utility value i.e. it should be beneficial or applicable to the industry.
Role of Trademarks in Food Industry:
Trademarks play a vital role in all industry models; similarly they are essential for the food and beverage industry as it provides a distinctive character to the organization and its products. This helps the brand to make better buying choices, confident and safe purchasing decisions. Trademark helps to get your product recognized in the competitive market regime.
Similarly, the Trademark is very valuable for the food and beverage industry. It helps the customers to pick the food and beverage they prefer.
The customer has a prerequisite that while buying a drink labeled “Pepsi” he is buying a non- alcoholic product. Whereas, when the label is “Fruli Strawberry” he is buying a drink with fruits and little alcoholic content.
A trademark allows the users to make easier decisions and each time they make a decision they do not have to read about the ingredients on the bottle. The trademark provides information about the commercial origin of the drink, its substance value and use.
Role of Design in Food Industry:
Design covers the physical appearance of an article or part of an article such as its shape, configuration, pattern, or ornamentation including lines, colors, texture made by an industrial process that is appealing to the eyes.
A registered design even helps to protect the appearance of food products like a special pudding or the shape of a teabag.
India has a vast range of foodstuff; its food heritage has a unique identity form north to south and east to the west still we are lacking in protecting our food heritage due to lack of knowledge related to Intellectual Property.
The increasing globalization has led many multinational food eateries to build a base in India has increased the risk of dominance. To prevent the violation of our recipe and products we need a deeper understanding and awareness of the role of IP in the food and beverage industry.