The term “intellectual property” refers to a set of legal rights that derived from the human mind’s creative genius. IP rights are vital for a country’s economic growth and act as a motivator for creative people to share their creativity with the rest of the world. IP rights, like real and personal property rights, protect an ownership interest in tangible assets like land and automobiles. They also protect one’s ownership interest in intangible objects like an invention’s idea, a Broadway play’s music score, and a product’s name or logo. It would be difficult for society to develop and grow if these rights were not protected by the law.
Traditionally, intellectual property rights are divided into two categories:
- Copyright and Rights related to Copyright
Copyright protects the rights of creators of literary and artistic works (such as books and other publications, musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, computer software, and films) for 50 years after the death of the author.
The rights of performers (e.g. actors, singers, and musicians), creators of phonograms (sound recordings), and broadcasting companies are also protected by copyright and associated (often referred to as “neighboring”) rights. The primary social goal of copyright and related rights protection is to stimulate and reward innovative creators.
2. Industrial Property
Industrial property can usefully be divided into two main areas:
- One area can be defined as the protection of distinguishing indicators, such as trademarks (which distinguish one business goods or services from those of another) and geographical indications (which identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin). The goal of trademark protection is to encourage and ensure fair competition, as well as to safeguard customers by allowing them to make educated decisions about diverse goods and services. If the symbol in question remains distinctive, the protection may extend eternally.
- Other kinds of industrial property are protected largely to encourage technological innovation, design, and development. Patented inventions, industrial designs, and trade secrets all come into this category.
The social goal is to protect the outcomes of investments in new technology development, hence providing an incentive and means to fund research and development operations.
A well-functioning intellectual property policy should also make it easier to transfer technology through FDI, joint ventures, and licensing.
The protection is usually granted for a set period of time (typically 20 years in the case of patents).It is important to note that the exclusive rights granted are generally subject to a number of limitations and exceptions, which are designed to fine-tune the balance that must be struck between the legitimate interests of right holders and users.