Intellectual Property Rights

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, “Intellectual Property is refers to the creation of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works and symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce”.

The Stockholm Convention which established the World Intellectual Property Rights states that;

“intellectual property shall include rights relating to literary, artistic and scientific works, performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts, inventions in all fields of human endeavor, 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, scientific, literary or artistic fields.”

Intellectual Property can be divided into two branches:

1  Industrial Property – which includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indicators

Copyright and Related Rights – includes Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, Cinematography films, Sound recording. Related Rights includes the rights of performing artists with regard to their performance, rights of broadcasting organizations with respect to the radio and television programs and the rights of producers of phonograms over their phonograms.

A patent gives the inventor the exclusive right to the inventor to use, sell and enjoy his invention. The application to obtain a patent can be submitted to the patent office.  It is granted for a period of 20 years from the date of filing of the application. Trademark is usually regarded as a visual symbol a design, emblem, picture emblem or logo which is used by a particular company to make their products distinct from similar products made by other companies. It is granted for a period of 7 years Trademarks can be renewed on payment of prescribed fees (position as in India). A design refers to the visual appearance which can be two dimensional as well as three dimensional.  It includes the color, pattern, texture, shape, etc. We can prevent the use of a registered design by others. But it should not be such that it is solely dictated by the product’s technical function, offensive and contains or includes national flag or international emblems. Geographical indications help us to identify a good having quality, reputation and other advantage due to its origin from a particular territory or region.

Copyright is the right of the author to protect his work from unauthorized duplication. The WIPO recognizes the right of the author to exclude others from using his work, can grant permission to use the work and moral right. Authorization is required from the copyright owner in order to copy or reproduce the work, to perform the work in public place, to do sound recording of the work, to make motion picture of the work, broadcasting, translating and adapting the work. In many countries copyright is provided for a term of 50 years after the death of the author. In the US the term of copyrights has been extended to a period of 70 years from the date of death of the author.

Related works protects the legal interest of those persons who works publicize the work of the original creator. As stated earlier this includes the performer’s rights, the rights of producers of phonogram and the rights of the broadcasting organizations. Former’s rights are protected due to their creative role in publicizing the work and the latter’s rights are protected taking into account their justified interest in transmitting the work. The TRIPS agreement protects the right of the broadcasting organizations for a period of 20 years from the date of broadcasting.

The intellectual property right thus protects the creative and economic rights of the persons for the work they made with their intelligence and creativity. It provides protection to the original creators under protection to industrial property, copyright and other related rights.