- What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property is the unique creation of the human intellect. It could be any distinct intangible asset like music, services, information, literature, designs, creativity concepts, ideas, industrial models, inventions, trademarks, names, brands, symbols or more.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) provide exclusive ownership to the creators or inventors of a particular entity. They entitle the owner to reap all the benefits associated with the usage of a certain product while barring others from using it. Legal protection allows the inventor to even sue infringers and make them compensate for any damages. It grants rights to the creator to exclude others from tampering with or using the property without prior permission.
The main forms of IP are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Each type of IP protection is different, varying in the subject matter that can be covered, timeframe of protection, and total expense. Although some inventions may be covered by multiple types of IP protection, it is important to consider a number of business and legal factors before selecting the best protection strategy. Some technologies require strong IP protection to commercialize, but unnecessary costs can derail bringing a product to market. IP departments of organizations weigh these various considerations and perform essential IP protection functions. This primer introduces researchers to the main forms of IP and its legal aspects.
2. Why are intellectual property rights important?
IPR enables patent holders, brand owners, copyright holders, composers, artists and other innovators to benefit from their work, time, efforts and investment. The rights are a part of the International Declaration of Human Rights which protects the right holder’s moral and physical interests at stake in an artistic, literary, creative or other product. Protection of IP is crucial for the following reasons:
- Granting well-deserved recognition to the creator
- Providing incentive to the innovator for new creations
- Assuring monetary rewards for intellectual property
- Maintaining the originality and genuineness of products
3. What does IPR management denote?
Intellectual property rights management is a system of managing and dealing with intangible creations of the human intellect. Essentially, it entails different forms of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, publicity rights, design protection, rights against unfair competition and trademarks.
IPR management or IPR strategy are techniques of managing an individual or corporate house’s intellectual property rights portfolio. IPR strategy management refers to the overarching plan and approach of handling a company’s intangible assets, such as, its name, services, logotype, computer programs, music, internal manuals, business concepts, working methodologies and more. IPR management allows an entrepreneur to manage his/her intangible assets professionally with the aim of maximizing commercial rewards. It involves concerns, such as which type of patent will be the most suitable for a particular purpose, which patent can be licensed out or sold, which patent should be purchased, etc. The target is to make the most of intellectual properties rights with the intent of garnering profits. IPR strategy also covers analysis of an organization’s long-term commercial and non-commercial goals, risks and competitor actions.
Usually, IPR management professionals harbor hands-on management experience (handling daily operations in an intellectual property law office) and patent paralegal experience. Intellectual Property Management (IPM) specialists actively undertake prior art search or novelty search (patentability search), drafting and filing of patent/trademarks applications, filing request for examination, responding to office action, industrial design service, coordinating with various IP attorneys/firms for mobilizing paid support for grassroots innovators and more. Additionally, IPM team offers legal assistance to innovators in negotiating and drafting licensing arrangements and in dealing with infringement issues of their IP rights.
4. What are patents?
Patent is an exclusive legal right held by an assignee or inventor that prevents others from making material benefits from the patented creation without permission for a specified period of time in lieu of detailed public disclosure of the patented invention.
5. What is meant by ‘copyrights’ and ‘neighboring rights’?
Copyright is a type of intellectual property right that protects creations of human intellect in the artistic and literary domains. This includes musicals, writings, works of fine arts (sculptures, paintings, etc.), technology-based innovations (computer programs, electronic databases, etc.) and so on.
6. What is the difference between trademarks, GI and domain names?
A trademark is a recognizable and distinctive sign, expression or design that individualizes the products or services of a certain enterprise and distinguishes them from others. It is a form of IPR that can be placed on a label, packaging, a product, a voucher or other assets of an organization. However, typically, trademarks are showcased on company buildings for the sake of corporate identity. They can be owned by an individual, a legal entity or a business organization.
On the other hand, a geographical indication is a notice stating that a certain product originates in a particular geographical region.