INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP)

IP is the product of your imagination; it is very simply the creation of ideas and concepts, which are intended for commercial use.

DID YOU KNOW?

Intellectual Property is all around us everyday in various forms? Graffiti on the walls, sculptures of historical icons in national parks and city center’s and photographs in museums are all forms of artistic works. Theatres and Bookstores make wonderful leisure activities and are home to new plays, novels and other forms of literary works. Marks or Characters such as the famous Yellow “M” on red background for McDonald’s, or images such as the thumb on a Thums Up bottle and/or Symbols such as the Blue circle with white roads for Tata are also examples of I.P forms. New designs and inventions such as a new make of a cellphone or the latest tracking device is also a form of IP.

Why do I need legal protection of my IP?

In a commercial context the invention of IP is perhaps the single most important aspect of a business, for it is the competitive advantage i.e.: the distinguishing factor of business “A” from business “B” in that industry. A great competitive advantage naturally leads to positive significant revenue and therefore a business would want to maintain such an advantage throughout its period of operation.

Whatever your field, as long as you’re either providing a service or selling a product, that competitive advantage is crucial to your business. As such, it is quintessential to ensure that competitors or new comers do not adversely affect your percentage share of the specific market. The best way to do so is to protect the ownership of the Intellectual Property that distinguishes you from other entities in your industry.

Intellectual Property Law (IPL) recognizes this need and awards the creator/innovator of IP ownership rights over his/her creation. IPL ensures the owner is awarded rights, as he would have over tangible property: property that can be seen and/or touched (real estate,personal possessions).Such protection can be achieved through patents, trademarks and copyrights. The decision as to which to use depends on the nature of the intellectual property.

If your Intellectual Property is a new technology or architectural design you’re definitely going to want to Patent your product. Patency gives you as the inventor of such technology ownership rights - the sole right (for a defined period) to prohibit others from using or selling the said technology/design.

If you are about to launch your business and you have created the mark for this business, you would want to Trademark the logo, slogan, colours, etc. These are registered for specific items or services and must meet the following criteria in order to be awarded:

1) They must be Non-descriptive – ie : if your product is soap you cannot now call it soapy.

2) It must not be common – infact if your trademark is a made up gibberish word it is more likely to pass this test. It should not refer to any geographical region, anything royal nor common surnames.

If you are the innovator of a new piece of literary work or artistic expression then you will be awarded entitled to the form of ownership known as Copyright. As it is ownership you, the original artist, have exclusive rights however as is typical in the literary world you want to allow right of use and reproduction to a publisher, commissioner etc. this can be done by assigning or licensing your right to another.

Whether you’re a manufacturer, trader or a professional IPLaws has a tab just for you