Intellectual Property Rights: An Overview
There are protections under the law for works of human imagination, known as Intellectual Property Rights. It’s only in modern times that these privileges have been legally recognised and protected. The term “industrial property” is used to describe things like patents, designs, and trademarks. Industrial property includes things like patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names, indications of source or appellations of origin, and the suppression of unfair competition; when copyrights, Geographical indicators, layout Designs, and confidential information were added to industrial property, they all became intellectual property in accordance with the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) gave IP the force of international law. The TRIPS agreement defines intellectual property rights as-
- Copyright and Related Rights
- Rights of artists, painters, musicians sculptors, photographers, and authors for copyright in their works;
- Rights of computer programmes whether in source or object code for a copyright in their programmes and compilation data;
- Rights of performers producers of phonogram’s and broadcasting organizations in respect of fixation on their programmes for copyright in their work.
- Right of traders in their trade marks.
- Right of manufacturers & producers on geographical indication in relation to such products and produce.
- Right of designers for their distinctive design striking to the eye.
- Right of the inventor for patent is his invention.
- Rights of plant breeders and farmers.
- Rights of biological diversity.
- Right of computer technologist for their layout design of integrated circuits.
- Right of businessmen for protection of their undisclosed information on technology and management.
- COPY RIGHT AND RELETED RIGHTS:
Works of literature, drama, music, or art, as well as cinematic and audiovisual works, are all protected by copyright. Computer programmes, tables, and compilations, such as databases, are all considered works of literature. The product itself is not the focus of this protection, but rather the shape the builder gives it. To the extent that we may speak abstractly about the visual shape created by the combination of paint and canvas, the picture rightfully belongs to its creator.
- TRADE MARK:
A trademark is any label used to show where a product or service was made. It could be anything from a name to a logo to a specific colour or sound. The reputational worth of a product is represented by its trademark. This is what sets one company apart from another. There are several reasons why trademarks are useful:
In this way, shoppers may more easily locate goods that meet their needs. As a result, businesses are prompted to raise the bar on their offerings. Without any sort of authentication symbol, it would be hard to tell low-quality knockoffs from the real deal. When profits from both high- and low-quality products are the same, there is less of an incentive for a company to produce the former. As a result of trademark protection, no one else is allowed to use a mark that is confusingly similar to or the same as the protected mark. Although this type of monopolistic power may seem like a bad thing at first glance, it actually has no negative effects on consumer welfare because it does not seek to stop the production of similar goods but rather the use of confusingly similar or deceptive trademarks. As a result, trademarks tend to encourage desirable behaviour. It can appear that the intellectual property law of trademarks and the economics of trademark protection are not in contradiction with one another. In any case, there are ambiguities:
Concern over “umbrella branding” (brand extension), in which a firm leverages a trademark established in one market to break into a another market with an unrelated product. Case in point: Reliance’s forays into the retail sector, the hospitality business, and the like. Concerns about unfair competition are warranted when a company uses an advantage it has gained in one market to sell products in another market. It is challenging for a new company to join the market since consumers are more willing to test the products connected with a well-known brand name than an unknown brand of equal quality.
It is possible that forced licencing of trademarks, as a result of competition regulations, will lead to subpar products being sold at inflated prices. As a corollary, this will severely damage the brand’s image. The company’s motivation to provide high-quality goods for customers will suffer as a result.
An innovation is the object of a patent. In the eyes of the law, the creator of a novel method, tool, or product is the exclusive owner of the intellectual property resulting from his efforts. No one else has the right to benefit from it the way he will.
- GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS:
The term “geographical indicator” refers to a label or symbol on a product that indicates its origin or region of production (e.g. a town, region, or country). In order to comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements, on September 15, 2003, India’s Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 became fully operational. Indicators which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality within that territory, where a given quality, reputation, or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin; this definition is taken from Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
- INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Industrial design excludes the mode or principle of construction and the trademark, but includes the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or composition of lines or colours applied to any article in two-dimensional or three-dimensional or both forms by any industrial process or means whether manual, mechanical, chemical, separate or combined.
- LAY-OUT DESIGNS OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
In the case of integrated circuit layout designs, the property is the exclusive right to use the registered layout design in respect to the class of goods for which it is registered for a length of time determined by the law. The holder of this right may grant a licence to a third party or transfer this right to another person.
- PROTECTION OF UNDISCLOSED INFORMATION
Only if the owner can keep the information secret and takes action against others’ unlawful use of the information through breach of confidence or contract can the information be safeguarded.
There are parallels between real estate law and intellectual property law in terms of the following: the means of acquisition, the scope of the rights granted, the methods for making a profit from those rights, the procedures for protecting those rights, and the legal redresses that can be pursued in the event of an infringement. A person’s property rights only encompass his rights to his actual, physical possessions. As a form of intangible incorporeal property, however, intellectual property cannot be touched or felt. Legislation establishes the basis for intellectual property rights. A new product, an improved version of an existing product, or a novel production process for either could be at the heart of the invention. Intellectual property monopolies are strictly managed by the laws, which determine who can obtain them, how long they last, who can licence them, and who can assign them. The right of material property is granted to industrialists for a lump sum payment or on a royalty basis in exchange for the commercial exploitation of intellectual property. Other situations of IPR infringement, especially when conducted knowingly on a commercial scale, may be subject to criminal procedures and sanctions under the TRIPS Agreement, as provided for by member countries of the WTO. In the case of trademark infringement, the civil remedies available include an injunction, either damages or an account of profits, and the delivery up of the infringing items for destruction. In the event of an intellectual property violation, legal action can be taken at both the civil and criminal levels.
The World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) mandates that all member countries offer the same level of protection for intellectual property as set forth in the following International Conventions.
- i) The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, 1967.
- ii) The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1971 along with Appendix.
iii) The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations, 1961, and
- iv) The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Convention
It is evident that IP and IPR management is a complex process that necessitates a wide variety of actions and tactics that must be in harmony with domestic laws and international treaties and norms. It’s no longer primarily motivated by a sense of national pride. The market’s needs, the market’s response, the expense of translating IP into commercial enterprise, and so on all have significant impacts on IP and the rights connected with IP. When dealing with intellectual property rights, it’s crucial to keep trade and commerce in mind. Depending on the type of intellectual property rights (IPR), specific specialists in fields including science, technology, engineering, medical, law, business, and economics will need to be consulted and involved in the process. According to its unique needs, every sector of the economy should develop its own set of standards for intellectual property (IP) management, protection, and use. The pharmaceutical sector is now implementing a novel intellectual property strategy. Antitrust law must step in to prevent the unlawful assertion of invalid rights in order to build and sustain illegitimate, albeit limited, monopolies in the pharmaceutical industry given the greater likelihood that some IPR are invalid. There are still many open questions here.