Intellectual Property

This part of the website covers areas related to intellectual property and contains several articles that explain the several aspects of this topic at greater length.

On this page, I will provide an overview of this subject to help you gain an understanding of what it is and how it works. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the definition of intellectual property is:

"...creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce."

Certain types of property of this kind, such as patents, copyright and trademarks are protected by law. This is because it enables people to earn recognition or gain financial benefit from the things they invent or create. It is a legal definition of ideas, inventions, artistic works and creations and other commercially viable products that have been created from a person's own mental processes.

Not every idea created in a person's mind can be considered intellectual property. This can only be a good thing in certain instances. There usually requires a commercial viability angle in need of the necessary protection to prevent theft of that idea or outright copyright infringement.

There are two categories:

1. Industrial Property

This includes inventions (patents), industrial designs, trademarks and geographic indications of source. One area is the protection of distinctive signs, namely trademarks that distinguish goods or services of one entity from those of another. Geographical indications identify an item as originating in a place where such characteristics of the item are attributable to its geographical origin.

Other kinds of industrial property are protected in order to stimulate innovation, design and technological creation. This is where we find inventions, which are protected by patents, industrial design and trade secrets.

2. Copyright

This includes literary and artistic works, including novels, poems and plays, movies, musical works, artistic works (for example drawings, sculptures, paintings), photographs and architectural designs that are formed from the imagination of their creators.

Intellectual Property Rights

These are specific legal rights that are in place to protect the owners of intellectual property.

There is a necessity to provide adequate and effective protection of commercial or industrial property rights. It is an essential way of ensuring the financial, commercial, technological and industrial development of a country.

It is not possible without a strong patents system for any nation to achieve a reasonable level of economic and technological growth. There needs to be an effective level of protection of commercial trademarks and their trade names, while promoting the creativity of employees and individuals by protecting their ideas, designs and other elements.

A rigorous industrial property system makes a powerful means of economic growth. Such a system needs to be set in a legislative framework that is in place to acquire and maintain industrial property rights, being modern, efficient and accessible.

Also protected by copyright and related (referred to as "neighboring") rights are those of performers (actors, singers and musicians), producers of sound recordings (CDs, MP3s DVDs etc) and broadcasting organizations. The main social purpose of providing full protection of copyright and related rights is essentially to encourage and reward creative work.

Further Reading

Below are titles of related articles published in this section of the website: