Intellectual Property refers to the properties that are creations of mind. Creations of mind includes inventions; literary and artistic works and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Therefore, Intellectual Property Rights refer to the exclusive rights conferred to the creator of the intellectual property. It is set of legal rights granted with the aim to protect the creations of the intellect (the creator) of either an individual or a group or an organization individually or collectively, thereby creates a monopoly of any intellectual creation of mind.

There are three kinds of Property: -
1. Movable;
2. Immovable;
3. Intellectual.

LAW GOVERNING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 and it is a specialized agency of United Nations. WIPO promotes the protection of Intellectual Property throughout the world. The headquarter of the Organization is in Geneva, Switzerland.

WIPO is an international organization dedicated to helping ensure that the rights of creators and owners of intellectual property are protected worldwide, and that inventors and authors are therefore recognized and rewarded for their ingenuity. WIPO works closely with its Member States and other constituents to ensure that the intellectual property system remains adaptable tool for prosperity and well-being, crafted to help realize the full potential of created works for present and future generations.

TYPES OF IPR

MAJOR TYPES OF IPR ARE DISCUSSED BELOW: -

1. PATENT

Patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention of a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or that offers a new technical solution to a problem. A patent provides patent owners with the exclusive protection for their inventions. A Patent provides the right to the creator of that invention or the patent owner with the right to decide how or whether the invention can be used by others. Patent protection is generally granted for a limited period, generally of 20 years.

For acquiring a patent in a product, an invention must fulfill some conditions to be followed. The product must be of practical use; it must show an element of “novelty”, meaning some new characteristic that is not part of the body of existing knowledge in its particular technical field. That body of existing knowledge is called “prior art”. The creation or the invention of such product must show an “inventive step” that could not be deduced by a person with average knowledge of the technical field. Patents are granted by National Patent Office or by Regional Offices.

2. TRADEMARKS

Trademark is a distinctive sign that helps consumers to identify certain goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company. It can be in the form of text, word, numeral, phrase, symbol, design, signature, smell, shape, color, sound, packaging, texture or combination of any of these elements. The intent to have unique trademark is that the consumers can associate the specific mark with the goods and are able to differentiate them. It helps the consumer to ensure the quality and type of the particular product.

By getting the trademark protection, owners of the trademark have exclusive right to use them to identify goods or services. The owners also have right to authorize other person to use them in a certain manner in return for payment. To register for a trademark, it must have one or a combination of words, letter and numerals. They may consist of drawings, symbols or three-dimensional signs.

Trademarks are covered under the Trademarks Act, 1999. The Act came into effect on September 15, 2003 and by replacing the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958.

3. COPYRIGHT

Copyright are the rights granted to creators, authors, artists, and composers for their ‘original’ creative work or to performers, artists, and broadcasters for the related rights. As patent laws, copyright is also a monopolistic right. Copyright gives exclusive right to sell, publish and reproduce, any literary, musical, dramatic, artistic or architectural work created by the author.

The kinds of works which are covered by copyrights are innumerable and include books, stories, novels, poems, plays, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, movies, computer programs, databases, musical compositions, songs, choreography, videos, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, maps and technical drawings. It is pertinent to note that copyrights cover only “tangible” forms of creations and it does not include mere ideas.

The copyrights are governed under Indian Copyright act, 1957. The is so far amended in the year 1982, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999. Generally, the duration for copyright is Author’s lifetime plus 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

TRADE SECRETS

Trade secrets refers to the secrets of a business, which helps it gain economic advantage over others. In case the trade secret is leaked, the business may suffer numerous losses and irreparable damage to reputation. Trade secrets can be in the form of confidential information, data, formula, composition, process, design, method or compilation or combination of one or more, which should remain with the business alone. There is no requirement to register for trade secrets unlike for patent, rights all the claims and processes enter the public domain as soon as the patent application is filed, it is not possible to follow the same process with trade secrets.

An example of the same is the recipe of Coca-Cola. It is a fact that the recipe of Coca-Cola was never patented, as it would cause the recipe to be leaked. The officials of Coca-Cola are very particular about it that it is said that the two employees who know the recipe, only know one half of it each and no one knows the recipe as a single piece of information.

List of Important Websites:

1. Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

2. World Intellectual Property Organization

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