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intellectual property rights

intellectual property rights

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Published by Sargam Galhotra

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Sargam Galhotra on Jan 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What is Intellectual Property
The term intellectual property encompasses various types of creations of mind, like inventions.An intellectual property could be anything like a music composition, a movie, book, painting oreven a brand name. According to the concept of intellectual property, such creations of mind areintangible or non-monetary assets with commercial value. The owners of such non-monetaryassets (creations of mind) are assigned some exclusive rights over their creation, so that theybenefit financially. However, it is not possible to recover or replace an intellectual property thatis stolen. If stolen, the interests of the owner, over his/her creation will get affected. So, theremust be laws to protect the moral as well as material interests of the owner over his/herintellectual property. IP law deals with the rights assigned to owners of intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Rights
As mentioned earlier, the creators or owners are granted certain exclusive rights over theircreations or works. Such exclusive rights are called intellectual property rights. These rights helpthem benefit from their creations and also enable them to protect their work. In that way,intellectual property is like any other real property which is financially beneficial for the owner.The monetary benefits are said to encourage people to come up with new inventions andcreations.Intellectual property rights also enable the owners or creators to protect their work. These rightscan be related to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to thisstatute, "everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resultingfrom any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author". So, owners of intellectual property can benefit through protection of the moral and material interests of theircreations.
Types of Intellectual Property Rights
An intellectual property can be either artistic or commercial. The artistic works come under thecategory of copyright laws, while the commercial ones (also known as industrial properties),include patents, trademarks, industrial design rights, and trade secrets. Copyright laws deal withthe intellectual property of creative works like books, music, software and painting. Industrialproperties cover those created and used for industrial or commercial purposes. As stated earlier,intellectual property is categorized into various types as per the nature of work. The mostcommon types are copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets. So,these rights safeguard the interests of the owners of IP. If you are an author, who has written anew book, you can apply for a copyright for your work. Likewise, patents can be obtained forinventions. Once you establish your IP right, you can protect your work legally
A copyright is a right conferred on the owner of a literary or artistic work. It is anexclusive right to control the publication, distribution and adaptation of creative works. The rightlies with the owner-cum-copyright holder for a certain period. As the time lapses, the work canbe republished or reproduced by others. Usually, in most countries the timespan of a copyrightextends through the entire life of the owner and lasts up to a period of about 50 to100 (70 yearsin the U.S.) years after his/her death. In case of anonymous works, the right lasts for 95 yearsfrom the date of first publication or 120 years from the date of creation.
A trademark is a symbol generally used to identify a particular product, whichindicates its source. A trademark can be a combination of words, phrases, symbols, logos,designs, images, or devices, used by an individual, legal entity or business organization todistinguish their products from others. For example, you can identify the products of Nike Inc.,from the logo, which is embossed on their products. Once registered, trademarks are protectedlegally and the owners can sue persons for unauthorized use of their trademarks.
Patents are rights related to new inventions. Such rights are conferred on persons whoinvent any new machine, process, article of manufacture or composition of matter and biologicaldiscoveries. In order to be patented, the invention should fit into specific criteria, which maydiffer from country to country. In general, the invention must be new and should be useful or canbe applied in industries. The person who receives a patent for his invention has an exclusive rightto prevent others from making, using, selling or distributing the patented invention withoutpermission. Generally, the time limit of a patent is 20 years from the date of filing the application(for the patent).
 Industrial Design Rights:
These rights protect the visual design of objects that are not purelyutilitarian, but have an aesthetic or ornamental value. It may refer to the creation of a shape,color, pattern or a combination of all these things. It can be an industrial commodity or ahandicraft. The design can be either two-dimensional (based on pattern, colors and lines) orthree-dimensional (as per shape and surface). An industrial design right is conferred afterconsidering factors like novelty, originality and visual appeal. The person who has an industrialdesign right has the exclusive right to make or sell any objects in which the design is applicable.The right is conferred for a period of 10 to 25 years.
Trade Secrets:
Trade secrets are the designs, practices, formulas, instruments, processes, recipes,patterns, or ideas which are used by a company to gain an economic advantage over itscompetitors. The owner of a trade secret does not possess any right over anyone who gainsaccess to that secret independently, but he can prevent the use of the trade secret by anyone whohas learned it through the owner. For example, an employer can protect trade secrets throughcontracts with his employees. Trade secrets differ from other types of intellectual property rights,because it is the responsibility of the owner to keep the secret and it is not protected throughgovernment policies. Once the trade secret is leaked, it can be used by any person.
There is a famous story about a Donald Duck story being used as priorart against a patent on a method of raising a sunken ship. A 1949Donald Duck story used the same technique.. The Danish inventor Karl Krøyer came up with a very creativesolution to quickly raise a sunken ship full of sheep: pump buoyantbodies into the ship to achieve sufficient upward lift to bring the ship back to the surface. Thesolution was so creative he got a patent on it.In a 1949 Donald Duck story, titled The Sunken Yacht, a ship is raised by stuffing it full of ping-pong balls. That kind of prior art could kill the patent. But whether the story was actuallyused by a patent office to refuse the patent (application) remains unclear.The invention has been used in practice on several occasions.The most famous one, shown in the photograph on the left,was in 1964 in Kuwait. On September 14, 1964, the freighterAl Kuwait capsized at the docks in Kuwait's harbor. The shipwas carrying 5,000 sheep that started decomposing in the
harbor‘s water. Since this threatened to contaminate the city of 
Kuwait's drinking water supply, the ship had to be raised asquickly as possible. Bringing in cranes would have taken toolong, and with such methods there is a significant risk that theship will break.The Danish inventor Karl Krøyer came up with a method of raising this sunken ship by filling itwith buoyant bodies fed through a tube. On December 31, 1964, he filled the ship with 27

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