Importance of Intellectual Property Rights
Author : Sheetal Maggon
Before understanding importance and the concept of intellectual property rights, it is important to know the meaning of the word intellectual property. As the name suggests, intellectual property is the type of property which is invented by the beautiful creation of god i.e. minds of human beings (using their intellect). It can be anything from artwork to literary works; from musical work to scientific work, etc. and the inventor of all these works are the owners of their work. Intellectual properties have a major contribution in the development of national and state economies of a country. It is said that the creators or inventors of these works ‘own’ their work. Also, industries or companies which design some stuff or material are also known to be the owners of such designs. No other person can or is allowed to copy their work without consideration of their rights. To protect the inventors of such work, there are certain rights which have been provided to them. These rights are known as intellectual property rights. There is no formal definition given to intellectual property rights by Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation but the states which drafted the convention stated that intellectual property includes “literary, artistic and scientific works; performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts; inventions in all fields of human endeavour; scientific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations; protection against unfair competition; and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, literary, artistic or scientific fields.” Intellectual property is usually dealt under the following heads: Copyrights, Patents, Related Rights, Industrial Designs and Trademarks. Industrial Property includes trademarks, patents and industrial designs and copyrights are covered under artistic, literary and scientific works. Related rights include rights of performers, phonograms, etc.
IPR in India
The rights of intellectual property are not always natural rights. These rights come under statutory bodies. Following are the statutory bodies under which intellectual property rights are recognised in India:
- The Patents Act, 1970
- The Trade Marks Act, 1999
- The Copyright Act, 1957
- The Designs Act, 2000
- The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999
- The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000
- The Biological Diversity Act, 2002
- The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001
Above mentioned are the statutory authorities under which Intellectual Property Rights are recognised in India i.e. protection is being provided to the owners of intellectual properties under these laws. Intellectual property can be registrable or non registrable. It means that some intellectual properties are protected after having registered in some trademarks or patents are some are protected even without registering. If the property is non registrable, then the owner of the intellectual property will automatically have rights upon his creativity. Unregistered design rights, confidential information, trade secrets, common law trademarks, data base rights and even unregistered copyrights are included in unregistered intellectual property.
If the intellectual property is registrable, then the owners have to apply to the statutory bodies to get it registered otherwise, there’s a chance of exploitation of the property. Patents, registered trademarks, registered design rights, registered copyrights are included in registered intellectual property.
Different Types of IPR
- COPYRIGHT: It basically protects the literary work, artistic work, dramatic work and musical work from getting copied by others. In case of dramatic works, artistic or musical works the duration of copyright exists till 70 years after death of the person and in case of broadcasting and recordings, the duration of copyright exists till 50 years after the death of the person.
- PATENT: Patents generally prevents others to use the ideas and invention of books, novels, industrial stuffs, etc without permission of the owner. Time duration of a patent is 20 years.
- TRADEMARKS: Products having trademarks are generally protected for time duration of 10 years but they can be renewed after paying a renewal fee which varies accordingly. It generally identifies that a product or service is given by a particular person or organisation.
Importance of IPR
Intellectual property plays a very important role in each and every sector and is really important to make investment decisions in every sector. These rights are very important to protect human creations and are been recognised in almost every country all over the world. These rights are not only responsible for protecting the assets of huge business firms and companies, but also protect the ideas or concepts of human beings related to it. If a person is having a prominent and exceptional idea regarding any business or anything, then he have a right to protect his ideas by using patents, trademarks or copyrights and no other person shall exploit or copy his ideas after this. Intellectual property rights are really helpful for business start-ups as they protect the new and amazing ideas of young generation. Also, it is duty of the owner to make sure that no other person is copying his ideas. These rights give recognition to the great minds and inventors of the property. It basically ensures that the product that will come in the market would be original and qualitative. Basically, intellectual property rights are important because of the following reasons:
- It creates an environment full of employment opportunities and gives an immense support to high paying jobs.
- These rights encourage youth and young generation to make a good use of their minds and makes good entrepreneurs.
- Intellectual property rights develop a competitive market.
- These rights help in economic growth of a country.
- It also helps in consumer protection as consumers will be exploited.
- It is possible that without these rights inventors of the property would not get equal pay and this will lead to degradation in development of any nation.
- These rights help the companies and inventors to create a strong goodwill in the highly competitive market.
- In order to survive in this highly competitive market, it is really important to make exceptional products and somehow, intellectual property rights make it happen as the motivation leads to higher quality of products and services.
After looking at the importance of intellectual property rights, it can be concluded that it is one of the most important aspects of development of a nation and the world. Non availability of these rights would have lead to huge amount of exploitation of intellectual property. These rights make sure that every person is given importance and is rewarded for their inventions.