What Are Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which property rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs – Wikipedia.
Daily, new things or gadgets are invented that is from day one a sure hit under consumers. Money is rolling in for the inventors and they do not know the end of their wealth. Inventions are with us for many centuries and even today, some of the inventions of the Industrial Revolution are still being manufactured and used. Then there are also the dreamers who are constantly dreaming of hitting the Big Times with one or the other invention. But, alas, it will stay a dream.
The secret of inventing something is that an invention or design must be protected with a patent or by other legal means. In short, it boils down to Intellectual Property Rights.
Let’s discuss the so-called four pillars of Intellectual Property Rights.
A patent gives an inventor the right, for a limited period, to bar others from copying the idea of the inventor without his explicit permission. Patents generally relate to products, processes, mechanisms and materials that contain new functional or technical aspects.
The entire process of registering a patent can be costly and complex, especially the research that must be conducted to ensure that a similar invention has not been patented already. There are registered patent agents who are qualified to handle the registering of patents correctly.
‘Registered design’ refers to the external appearance of an article or object of manufacture. To qualify for registering a design it must have significant eye appeal, be new and not be excluded – for example a work of sculpture would be excluded. A patent agent will also be able to assist and be able to assist with the list of exclusions.
A trademark relates to words, logos, or three dimensional shapes that can distinguish the products or services of a particular business entity and can be represented graphically. Trademarks provide protection for the goodwill and reputation of a business entity.
Copyright refers to original literacy, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films, sound recordings, computer programs and material on the internet. Here registration is not a prerequisite to receive protection of copyright. The main thing is the owner must have proof of ownership – usually date of origination. Many people use the international symbol for copyright © with the date it was first created.
In conclusion, anyone who wishes to apply for a patent or registered design must be very careful – acquire the services of a patent agent or lawyer before publicly disclosing an invention or design as such disclosure automatically forfeits a person’s protection.
Statistics have shown that that only a small percentage of patented inventions are by private individuals, the remainder being filed by companies and government research departments. Further, of every ten patented new product ideas, one is likely to go into production – Peter Hingston; England.
Source: British Department of Trade and Industry