Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Opinion: Intellectual Property Rights & Modern Businesses

by Advocate Amir Ali

In today’s world, it is hard to imagine any business venture or a commercial enterprise that does not pos­sess one or another form of “Intellectual Property”. For an ordinary businessman, the term “Intellectual Property” has probably been one of the most misunderstood terms of law and business both in terms of appreciating the concepts which it stands for and in terms of its importance to the growth, progress and contin­ued success of any business.

Intellectual Property rights broadly include patents, designs, registered and unreg­istered trademarks and serv­ice marks, confidential information, registered and unreg­istered copyrights. Briefly stated, patents protect inno­vative ideas/inventions for commercial and industrial exploitation; designs protect the form, appearance and ornamental features of arti­cles; trademarks and service marks, protect names, logos and emblems used to identify, businesses, products and serv­ices; confidential information protects trade secrets; copy­rights protect artistic and lit­erary works including books, novels, plays, songs, sound recording, computer pro­grams etc.

 To understand the above aspects of Intellectual Property rights, let us consid­er the example of a mobile phone. The brand with which the mobile phone is known serves as a trademark. The shape and distinctive features of the design of the mobile phone are protected by design law. The internal circuits, the technology behind reception of telephone signals etc. is the subject of a patent. The User’s Manual which lists all the 

features of the mobile phone is in literal sense a ‘lit­erary work’ and is the subject of a copyright. Therefore it is easy to understand that all the forms of Intellectual Property may be found in one article and the creation of each of these forms has invari­ably come about after some sort of intellectual process (Edison’s “thought”) and Intellectual Property laws are designed to protect and reward the “intellectual” for his unique and innovative “thought”.

 Therefore the importance of Intellectual Property to any business cannot be overstat­ed. Ironically, despite the importance that Intellectual Property law has for business, it is rarely taught to those studying law, business, sci­ence and technology or cre­ative arts. As a result, many of those who are involved in cre­ating and using Intellectual Property, the artists, scien­tists, engineers and business­men, are often ignorant of what their Intellectual Property rights are, what they protect, what their commer­cial value is and how they can be used and exploited. By teaching, I do not mean that students should be taught all the laws, but these students who are the creators, inven­tors and entrepreneurs of the future should be made aware of what rights they have in “their” Intellectual Property and how they can exploit them to the best of their advantage.

 Like any other property, Intellectual Property too can be owned, possessed, sold, purchased, licensed etc. Just as an owner of a house can stop anyone else who enters his house and uses its utilities without the owner’s permis­sion, similarly the owner of an Intellectual Property right such as a brand name/trade­mark enjoys the legal right to prevent others from unautho­rized copying or imitation of his trademark..

————————

The contributor is an experienced lawyer working on intellectual property rights, frenchising and licensing. He is member of various national and international lawyer bodies. He belongs to Gulmit, Gojal. He can be reached at  ip_topcom@yahoo.com

4 thoughts on “Opinion: Intellectual Property Rights & Modern Businesses

Comments are closed.

Instagram did not return a 200.
%d bloggers like this: