Intellectual Property by name itself explains 'a property which is created by your intellect/mind'. However, the term property here refers to an intangible property such as inventions, literary or artistic works, brand names or logos, images used in business or commerce and aesthetic or appealing designs. We are aware that the inventor of a machine, the author of a book, or the designer of the aesthetic designs owns their work, as it is a creation of their mind. We cannot just use or copy their works without consideration of their works. To ensure that, nobody can use or copy their work, without considering them, Intellectual property right or protection is given to these inventors or creators. Each time we buy such 'protected' items, a part of what we pay goes to the inventor/creator as a recompense for the time, money, effort and thought they put into the creation of the work.
“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 is divided into different sections/headings for administrative and historical reasons. 1. Inventions e.g. a new form of jet engine or a type of machine is covered by laws concerning patents. 2. Industrial designs with aesthetic value e.g. the shape of a soft drink bottle is covered by laws concerning Designs. 3. Trademarks, service marks and commercial names or designations e.g. logos or names for a product are covered within the laws of Trademark. 4. Literary, artistic and scientific works e.g. books are governed within the laws of Copyrights. 5. Products having unique characteristics due to the geographical origin e.g kolkata's Rasgulla or Darjeeling tea are covered under the laws of Geographical Indications. 6. Protection of new variety of plants or improved varieties of plant are governed within the laws of Plant Variety 7. A new type of integrated circuit or a layout design is governed within the laws of Semi-Conductors and Integrated circuit designs. 8. The protection of any confidential information which may be sold or licensed by means of unfair practice is governed within the laws of "trade secrets'.
Intellectual property protects more than just an idea or a concept – it protects genuine business assets that may be integral to your core services of the business and overall long-term viability. Intellectual property can consist of many different areas, from logos and products, services and processes that differentiate your business offering. It’s when these ideas are used without permission that an organisation can suffer. Almost all businesses have undoubtedly benefited from the internet, where products, services and marketing communications can reach vast audiences at relatively low costs - but this has also increased the chances of intellectual property theft. Companies of all sizes are at risk of having their unique ideas, products or services infringed upon, even if they are on the other side of the world, making intellectual property protection more important than ever.
There are 3 ways to protect your IP. The 3 ways are as follows:
1. Trademarks – Used to protect brand logos, company names, phrases, and symbols.
2. Copyrights – Used to protect original works, such as art, lyrics, dances, or literature.
3. Patents – Used to protect manufacturing or design processes.
Trademarks are used to protect your business’s logo, designs, symbols, phrases, or name. When you trademark a logo or other item, competitors can’t use these because consumers might get confused.
A trademark is your property. By registering a trademark, you have exclusive rights to use it, and no one else can infringe upon that right. With proper use and enforcement, trademarks will enforce the individuality of your business for an unlimited amount of time. However, keep in mind that it depends on the circumstances whether or not a competitor will be able to produce a mark or logo similar to yours.
Copyrights protect the rights creators have to their original works, protecting things like literature, music, drama, choreography, art, motion pictures, sound recordings, and architecture. Copyrights essentially give people the right to carry out certain operations on specific materials or products. Copyrights are similar to trademarks because they offer long-term protection. These terms begin right away, and last the whole life of the author plus an additional 70 years after his/her death.
Patents work to protect the underlying ideas of the entrepreneur. Where a copyright protects the ways ideas are expressed, patent claims focus on the mechanisms, principles and components surrounding those ideas. Patents are the strongest of the laws protecting intellectual property.
Patent law is based on a very strict liability standard, making it a business owner’s strongest option for intellectual property protection. However, remember that patents have an expiration date. Design patents protect design, shape, configuration and appearance of any invention for 15 years, and utility patents that protect functional makeover and new inventions last about 20 years.
Intellectual property (IP) rights don't protect ideas or concepts. They protect genuine business assets that can be vital to your products or services, or the success and profitability of your business.
There are many advantages to securing your intellectual property rights. For example, protecting your IP can help you:
Enhance the market value of your business - IP can generate income for your business through licensing, sale or commercialisation of protected products or services. This can, in turn, improve your market share or raise your profits. In case of sale, merger or acquisition, having registered and protected IP assets can raise the value of your business.
Turn ideas into profit-making assets - Ideas on their own have little value. However, IP can help you to turn ideas into commercially successful products and services.
Licensing your patents or copyright, for example, can lead to a steady stream of royalties and additional income that can boost your business' bottom line.
Market your business’ products and services - IP is essential in creating an image for your business. Think trade marks, logos or the design of your products. IP can help you differentiate your products and services in the market and promote them to your customers.
Access or raise finance for your business - You can monetise your IP assets through sale, licensing or using them as collateral for debt financing. As well as this, you can use your IP as an advantage when applying for public or government funding, eg grants, subsidies or loans.
Enhance export opportunities for your business - IP can increase your competitiveness in export markets. You can use brands and designs to market goods and services abroad, seek franchising agreements with overseas companies, or export your patented products.
In any IP monetization campaign, the first step should be to clearly identify the goals. Basically, there are two paths you can take:
Deriving value by spinning off new businesses that are focused on improving the market infrastructure for products based on the IP.
Approaching global businesses or partners to offer licensing opportunities in certain fields where the IP can be implemented.
Each method of monetizing IP requires specific skills and abilities, as well as a good understanding of IP management practices to ensure that real value will be achieved.
These skills include:
• Quality assurance
• Product management
• Business development
• Documentation development
• Strategic partnering
Regulations and practices that apply to the trademarking, patenting, and licensing of the IP
Monetizing IP can generate considerable financial and strategic value, giving IP owners and investors a wider array of options.
The state of the IP marketplace and the law continues to change at a rapid pace, with significant business and legal developments occurring regularly. IP monetization at the global level leads to greater opportunity and complexity as it becomes a fundamental part of many IP monetization programs. A large portion of Europe is beginning to adopt a unitary European patent, while IP laws and strategies are rapidly maturing in Asian economies.
Patent is an Intellectual property right granted by the Government (Patent Office) to the inventor/applicant for a technical invention to prevent others from using, selling or making an invention without the inventor's permission for a specific period of time. Patents are granted/given for documenting the invention in a techno-legal language providing the details of novelty, non-obviousness, and industrial applicability of the invention. Once approved by the patent office of a certain country/region, the patent provides the legal rights of monopoly.
The term of a patent is twenty years from the date of filing the patent in case of domestic patents or local filing, and it is twenty years from the date of international filing date in case of national phase applications entered through Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Once term is expired, patents can’t be renewed.
A patent application can be filed by the inventor(creator) of the invention; by the person to whom the invention has been assigned by the inventor or by a legal representative in case the inventor is a deceased person.
An invention as per the Patent Act, is patentable if it satisfies the following condition:
1. Novelty: An invention is considered to be novel if it does not form a part of the global state-of-the-art. Meaning, the invention should not have been disclosed in the public through any type of publications anywhere in the world before the filing a patent application in respect of the same invention.
2. Inventiveness: A proposed invention involves inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.
3. Industrial application: An invention must possess utility for the grant of the patent.
The date of patent refers to the date of filing the application, whether provisional or complete. Priority date is the date of filing first application to the patent office. In case, a provisional is followed by the complete application,the priority date shall be the date of filing of the provisional application, in case a PCT application designating India is filed, the priority date shall be the date of filing PCT application; in case the patent application is divided into two parts i.e. a divisional application is filed, the priority date shall be the date of filing parent application.
The original creators of works protected under copyright, and their heirs hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others. The creator of the right can prohibit or authorize:
1. reproduction in various forms such as printed publication or sound recordings;
2. public performance as in a play or musical work;
3. recordings in a disc or cassette;
4. broadcasting by radio, cable or satellite;
5. translation into other languages;
6. adaptions, such as novel into screenplay.
Copyrights subsists throughout India in the following classes of works:
1. Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works;
2. Cinematographic films; and
3. Sound recordings.