In the inscrutable world of laws, bills, acts and rights, sections and sub-sections, a comic book is making inroads and in its own way, demystifying legal jargon for people. The Adventures of Mr IP comprises a series of nine stories in which ‘Mr IP’ explains a variety of intellectual property topics such as copyrights in music and films, alternate dispute resolution, the doctrine of equivalents, remedies, parallel imports, patents and inventions and Plant Variety Protection among others. It has been conceptualised by Delhi-based Pravin Anand, a leading legal authorities on Intellectual Property Rights. The character of Mr IP has been designed by Tina Rajan of Tinatoons, illustrations are by artist Raman Bhardwaj and scripts by Anand and other members of his team.
For Anand, who has been working on this project for two years, the comic is a “test drive”, one that is not for sale, is copyright-free and open for distribution, especially among students, the legal fraternity in India and abroad and educational institutions. Mr IP, he says, is not a super hero. “The character is that of 65-year-old Inder Prakash, who is out there to convince you of the benefits of intellectual property rights,” says Anand.
Earlier, Anand had also designed a board game called Anaryst to teach intellectual property litigation. The first of its kind, the comic has found acceptance in UK High Courts, in the US and UK patent offices and with the World Intellectual Patent Organisation office.
It took many ideas before Anand zeroed in on Inder Prakash. “We had a superman kind of hero too, but that’s a beaten strategy. Then we chose this common, bald, chubby man. Everyone can relate to him,” tells Anand.
The 60-page comic has gripping narratives, illustrations and characters. “For the scripts, we had an IP Comic Competition in 2011 among law students but no one came close to what I was looking for,” tells Anand, who wrote a couple of drafts, and encouraged his own legal staff to write. Among the stories there is Weapons of Litigation where the writer has a pirate ship called Counter Fleet, and has explained legal terms such as infringement, cease and desist, protector and injunction among others. “I am a storyteller and firmly believe that a message makes more impact when told in the form of a story,” feels Anand.