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Importance and Types of Intellectual Property Rights

Innovation is the lifeblood of research and what keeps the research sector afloat. The area of scientific research would have long since died out if it weren’t for inventions. However, simply coming up with a new idea is insufficient. The journey is not over; rather, it is just getting started. Therefore, safeguarding an innovation is essential if one is to gain from it and prevent its exploitation or copying.

You might believe that your work is protected just by being published. This is false, though. Let’s take the case where business A finds a novel medicine molecule, X. Instead of filing a patent, they publish all of their findings. Then, business B learns about the medication, modifies the molecule’s structure slightly, and patents it. So, despite the fact that business A did the work, B kept the profit.

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Why the Protection of intellectual property by law is necessary?

The following list outlines the different justifications for providing intellectual property (IP) protection through the adoption of appropriate IP laws:

  • By rewarding inventors and enabling them to profit financially from their works, we may stimulate inventions and creations that advance society’s social, economic, scientific, and cultural progress.
  • to grant intellectual property legal protection.
  • to prohibit others from benefiting from someone else’s creative work.
  • to make fair dealing easier.
  • to encourage the spread of innovation.
  • giving credit for the creators’ efforts.
  • preventing the infringement of authors’ intellectual rights by unauthorized usage of their works.
  • to promote the use of knowledge, time, money, and other resources to support innovation initiatives that are good for society.

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

The term “intellectual property” describes one’s intellectual property. That is, the product of one’s imagination, whether it be a piece of art or literature, a design, a symbol, etc.

IPR is the term used to describe the legal rights that the government grants to a person, group, or organization over their production. These rights, which assist safeguard one’s innovation for a set period of time, are territorial and exclusive in nature. IPR encourages innovation. It provides a sense of security that promotes the flow of information and knowledge.  IPR comes in a variety of forms, including

  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Geographical Indications
  • Trademarks
  • Business secrets
  • Industrial concepts

Patents

An invention is protected by a patent to prevent unauthorized creation, sale, or use by third parties. When people consider intellectual property rights protection, patents are the form of intellectual property rights that typically spring to mind. A patent holder is fully entitled to commercialize his or her or its patent, which includes the right to acquire and sell the patent as well as the right to grant an invention license to any third party on mutually agreeable terms.

Patents in the US can be divided into three categories: utility, design, and plant.

Utility

The majority of people immediately conjure up a utility patent when they hear the word “patent.” Additionally, it is the kind of patent that innovators request the most frequently.

A utility patent safeguards the development of novel or enhanced useful goods, procedures, material compositions, or devices. A utility patent holder also has the legal authority to prevent others from producing, utilizing, or selling their innovation for a period of 20 years after the patent application was filed.

Design

A design patent does not cover a product’s structural or functional elements; it only covers its aesthetic aspects and look. You can submit applications for both utility and design patents for the same product because they cover entirely separate aspects of intellectual property protection. Design patents, as opposed to utility patents, have a 15-year duration.

Plant

New varieties of plants that have undergone asexual reproduction are covered by a plant patent. This indicates that the plant has grown via seeds, cuttings, or other nonsexual methods of reproduction. It also cannot be a plant that has been tuber-propagated or that is currently uncultivated. A 20-year period applies to plant patents as well.

Trade secrets

Trade secrets are particular, confidential details that are significant to a firm because they give that business a competitive edge in its industry. Acquisition of a trade secret by another business could be detrimental to the original holder. Trade secrets include things like formulas for certain goods and drinks (like Mrs. Fields’ cookies or Sprite), brand-new technologies, programs, procedures, and even various marketing tactics.

The idea cannot be copied or stolen when a person or company has trade secret protection. Businesses must actively engage in a way that reveals their desire to safeguard the knowledge in order to establish information as a “trade secret” and to obtain the legal protections connected with trade secrets.

Copyrights

Although they are sometimes mistaken, patents and copyrights are not the same thing. Copyrights are a sort of intellectual property protection that safeguards original works of authorship, such as music, painting, and literary works. Today, computer software and architecture are also covered by copyrights.

Once you create something, it automatically has copyright protections and belongs to you. The registration of your copyright will be required if your rights to copyright protections are violated and you intend to initiate a lawsuit.

Trademarks

Trademark protection is the final form of intellectual property protection. Keep in mind that copyrights are designed to protect manifestations of ideas and works, such as art and writing, while patents are used to protect innovations and discoveries.

Thus, phrases, words, or symbols that set one party’s goods or services apart from those of another are referred to be trademarks. For instance, a trademark is something that almost everyone can immediately recognize and associate with. Patents and copyrights have expiration dates, while trademark rights are derived from trademark use and are therefore perpetual. Similar to a copyright, trademark registration is optional, although it can provide additional benefits.

Industrial Design

A certain product or article’s production method is called industrial design. For instance, a furniture manufacturer might develop a novel method of creating a sofa-cum-bed and want to prevent someone else from copying it. To be protected by industrial design law, an industrial design must be registered in many nations. Patents might as well work in other nations.

Geographical Indication

Producers of some goods may seek intellectual property protection in order to prevent goods from other regions from abusing the geographic association that these goods have. For instance, Basmati rice has been registered as a product with a Geographical Indication with the Department of Commerce in India. Only particular variety of rice, produced in seven states in the foothills of the Himalayas, is given this label.

Development is built on the foundation of intellectual property. It may be a design, a book, an artwork, an article in a magazine, or a brand-new method of producing anything. Although there are many different types of intellectual property, the word “property” indicates that it is owned by someone, either a person or a company.

Aayushi Chopra
Aayushi Chopra
Aayushi Chopra is a law student who is interested in creating content on education, lifestyle, law, health, and environment. She enjoys researching different topics and then expressing her views on them.

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