Career Guidance In Intellectual Property Rights Part-2
“As there are several ways and means of protecting the tangible assets, similarly, there are several tools to safeguard the intangible properties ie a book, a poem, a scientific or technological invention, industrial or agricultural creation, a broadcast, a film or anything that is created originally by human resources,” informs Krishna Raja, lawyer.
Increasing importance of IPR in the modern world
“Against the backdrop of the worldwide economic developments whereby trade agreements and negotiations are increasingly being governed by global concerns, there is an urgent need for an exhaustive and detailed study of Intellectual Property Laws,” says Shah.
Companies who have created and protected their intellectual property today rule world commerce. No company embodies this better than Microsoft, which has been built entirely on the strength of its software programmes that are protected through copyright. Protection of intellectual property has become so important that companies today carry out intellectual property audits to identify their intellectual wealth and form special departments to manage them.
Thus, products (eg, DVDs) are protected by patents, software (eg, Windows) by copyright, goodwill (eg, the logo of Mercedes Benz) by trademarks, appearance (design of a Rolex watch) by designs and spatial arrangements of the components on a microchip (Pentium IV) by semiconductor layout-designs.
“The specific legal issues that arise in relation to the management of intellectual property (IP) vary from industry to industry. In the music and entertainment industry, copyright law would be an important consideration, and with rapidly improving satellite transmission and digital technology, copyright law is gaining pivotal importance. On the other hand, for novelty in engineering designs, laws pertaining to industrial designs would apply, whereas for the knowledge based industry which is research driven, patents would be of most importance,” says Raja.
To understand clearly which IPR applies to which form of intangible asset is a complex issue. Further, the question of how and where to apply for the protection, and thereafter with whom the rights vest, at times is difficult to ascertain. These rights and laws vary differently in each country. Profit sharing between individuals, between companies and inventors, inventors and industry too is defined and limited by local rules and laws. Hence, it is very relevant and important to know and to be able to appreciate a larger perspective of IP law, not merely from a legal standpoint but also from the perspective of the industry.
Types of IPRs
As there are several ways and means of protecting the tangible assets, similarly, there are several tools to safeguard the intangible properties i.e. a book, a poem, a scientific or technological invention, industrial or agricultural creation, a broadcast, a film or anything that is created originally by human resources.
Following are the tools of protecting originality and creativity:
Trade mark: A trade mark can be a logo, a symbol, word, phrase, jingle, picture, sound or even smell or a combination of all these which is used to distinguish one work/service from another. Trademark provides a distinct identity to a particular good/service and thus protects it from being copied.
Trade Secrets: Trade secret protection is a safeguard to protect the secrets of a product or work.
Patent: A patent is the right of an individual or group of individuals in the form of a company/organisation to gain profit from a particular invention or unique manufacturing process. A patent is basically an intellectual property relating to scientific and technological inventions. A patent is granted by the government of the country to the applicant and gives the inventor the right for a limited period to prevent others from using that invention in any form without permission. When a patent is granted, the inventor becomes the owner of the patent. Like any other form of property, a patent can be transacted purchased, sold or even mortgaged.
Copyright: It is a tool protecting the original literary works i.e. books, novels, Iyrics, songs, computer programmes etc. The, moment these creations come into existence, they become the property of the creator.
........Continued on Intellectual Property Rights Part -3
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