Economic activities are now increasingly driven by inventions and innovations. Each product is an outcome of several inventions. When we are paying for a product, a part of that payment goes to the inventor in the form of royalties. From an economy angle, it is the inventions that are deciding the progress of a country rather than traditional factors like land, capital and raw labour. Hence intellectual property matters more than it appear.
What is intellectual property?
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.
Intellectual property in a simple sense is a creation of the human intelligence or mind. As a form of property right, intellectual property can be considered as assets that can be bought, sold, mortgaged, exchanged, and licensed like physical property. Intellectual property is safeguarded only if rights (regarding its use) are given to the producers of intellectual property. Intellectual property rights are provided by national governments with the aid of statutory provisions to inventors writers etc.
What is intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are rights assigned to the creators of intellectual property (individuals or organizations) regarding its exclusive use. Intellectual property rights are in different forms. WTO’s TRIPs Agreement classifies intellectual property rights into following groups.
- Copyright and related rights
- Trademarks, including service marks
- Geographical indications
- Industrial designs
- Layout- designs (topographies) of integrated circuits
- Undisclosed information, including trade secrets
- Control of Anti-Competitive Practices in Contractual Licenses.
Based on their specific nature, intellectual property is often divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes patents (inventions), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.