AN INSIGHT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS :
Intellectual property right can be defined as the right to the creation of one’s mind or intellect. Those creations can have many forms in terms of artistic designs, literary works and scientific inventions, etc. Once established, Intellectual property rights (IPR) empowers the individual to claim the exclusive right to exploit the creation commercially.
Essentially, IPR ensures that others cannot exploit somebody’s creation without his/her consent or by making some financial or other arrangements with him/ her to use that invention.
Purpose and advantages of IPR:
It is an incentive for the innovators. IPR makes it possible for the innovator to exploit the innovation commercially as well as exclusively, even if it is for a short period. In this way it promotes innovation.
Intellectual Property Rights also inspires investors and companies to invest in research and innovation. It’s because once IPR is granted, it is very much possible for them to recover the investment and make profits. Investment in research and innovation becomes commercially feasible due to IPR.
Intellectual property is a product of well-fortified and diligent mental effort. Hence, It requires significant protection in the form of Trade secrets, Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Copyrights, and Geographical Indications.
- Patents– Usually Patents are granted for original inventions or improvement of existing products.
- Trademarks– It consists of Verbal and visual symbol or a combination of both, that identifies a product or service distinctly.
- Copyright – protection of artistic and literary works
- Industrial Designs – It is something that can make the product more attractive and appealing to the consumer.
- Geographical Indication – It stands for the quality and territorial identity of products like Haryana basmati rice, Nagpur oranges, Odisha rasagola, etc.
Trade secrets can be compositions, formulas, information, devices, styles, patterns or policies, which a business uses in its course of action to gain a competitive advantage over the competitors who do not possess those trade secrets. The formula for KFC fried chicken recipe is an example of a trade secret. Trade secrets must not be in the public domain and the secrecy must be protected by the firm because trade secrets are not protected by patents.
Patents usually protect functional or ornamental features. Generally, it is awarded to the original inventor of the product or service. Patents are documents issued by the government that allows the owner of the patent to exclude others from making use of the patented information. It stays valid for 20 years from the date of filing. To get a patent, the invention must be a new and useful one. For example, Microprocessors from Intel, the design of a coca-cola bottle are patented.
While trade secrets protect secret information, Trademarks protect brands. Trademarks can be words, phrases, sounds, designs or symbols associated with the goods or services of a company. The symbol of a letter ‘M’ is a registered trademark of McDonald’s and the tagline “open happiness” is a registered trademark of the Coca-cola Company.
Copyrights are an exclusive right awarded for the protection of the works of authorship. These are the rights to authentic, original and creative products such as books, music, movies, advertisings, sculptures, pictures, graphics, technical drawings, databases and computer programs, etc. The duration of an author’s copyright exists for 50 to 100 years after his or her death. The script of StarWars movie, Bollywood songs, the novels of Chetan Bhagat, etc. are examples of copyrighted products. Many companies require their employees to sign a patent assignment whereby all patents and inventions of the employee become the property of the company.
AUTHOR: SRIBATSA PATTANAYAK
EMAIL: [email protected]