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What are intellectual property rights?


What are intellectual property rights?

By swatee Shukla

What is intellectual property? There are two types of property one physical and another intellectual. The term intellectual reflects the idea that its subject matter is the product of the mind and the intellect. These could be in the form of patents; trademarks; geographical indication; industrial design; layout design ( topographies) of integrated circuits; plant variety protection and copyright. 

What is the intellectual property right? Rights of an inventor to derive economic benefits from his intellectual property; this right is called intellectual property right IPR. The theory is based on Locke’s labour which aids: ‘any product of labour should belong to me.’ Extending this logic, any product of my intellectual labour is ought to be considered as my property and I should have an exclusive right to use it for my benefit. This concept forms the basis of construing the produce of intellectual labour as property. Intellectual property, protected through the law, like any other form of property can be a matter of trade, which means that it can be owned, bequeathed, sold or brought. The major characteristics that differentiate it from other forms of property are its intangibility and non-exhaustion by consumption. 

The objectives of granting IPR are to enhance the performance level of institutions and give recognition and financial benefit to efforts for creativity. Granting IPR creates competition among researchers and institutions for the quality of research. 

Need of law on intellectual property- the concept of intellectual property is a typical example of ‘legal fiction’. This means that it would not have existed had there not been a law stating that it does. In the absence of intellectual property rights, artists, writers, scientists and other creators of art and pioneers of science and technology will not be able to hold on to the benefits of their intellectual creations. The law aims to release new ideas and advancements into the public domain bridled by reins, in the control of creators. There are different laws, with varying rights and liabilities that cover the different types of intellectual produce. International intellectual property laws are governed by international treaty legislation. As in the era of globalization, with the worldwide internet and the subsequent ability for proprietary data to be copied and appropriated, IP rights need to be protected and regulated at an international level. 

Various laws cover different types of intellectual produce. These laws are copyright law, patent law, trademark law, geographical indication. Copyrights are generally exercised over subjects of literary work; dramatic work; artistic works; sound recordings; cinematographic films. Whereas a patent is a governmental-issued right granted to individuals or groups that protects their original inventions from being made, used, or sold by others without their permission for a set period of time. And a trademark is a distinguishing mark or sign that represents a particular brand or company. This system also seeks to prevent others from using the same mark to ass off their own goods like those made company.  The trademark should be distinctive. 


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