Any intangible property that comes into being only when human intellect is applied to it is called Intellectual Property. It refers to anything creative in design and nature, produced through the imagination of the human mind such as inventions; designs; literary and artistic works; symbols, names and images used in commerce. So basically if you have created something as an individual or as part of a company, it can be protected against use without consent. That is, rights relating to ownership of intellectual property are called Intellectual Property Rights.
Now the question arises why is the legal protection of Intellectual Property Rights required?
To answer this, the reasons for the requirement of legal protection can be enumerated as follows-
· It gives encouragement to the creators.
· It facilitates fairness of its use.
· It helps in promoting more inventions and innovations for economic growth.
· It prevents the misuse by any third-party.
Three Important Components of IPR and the laws related to them that everyone must know of are :
Copyright- It concerns the rights of the creators of literary and artistic works. The safeguarding of their economic and moral rights is done by The Copyright Act, 1957 which is a comprehensive legislation dealing with registration, publication, assignment, broadcasting and infringement of copyrights.
Patents – It is a right of monopoly given to a person who has invented a new article or a process of making it or improvised an existing article, usually related to the commercial and industrial sector. The legislation regulating it is called The Patents Act, 1970. It contains the procedure of obtaining a patent, provisions for rights and obligations of the patentee, term of the patent, transfer of patent, surrender, revocation, and restoration of patent, infringement of patent, and remedies thereof.
Trademarks – It is any symbol, letter, logo, design, or numerals and three-dimensional shape that is used to distinguish the goods of one enterprise from its competitors. The law governing it is called The Trademarks Act, 1999 and it contains provisions for its registration, effects, use, certifications, assignment, infringement and the rights of its holder.
It’s important to be aware of these laws if you are engaged in a creative field. You never know one day you may require them to protect one of your unique creations.