Regardless of what industry you are in, intellectual property and intellectual property rights will impact you and your business.

IP is an asset that can be licensed, sold or assigned even if a physical location shutters. Think twice before saying you can’t afford to protect your intellectual property. Instead, understand that you simply can’t afford not to- Opines Business Guru and Astro-Business Strategist, Hirav Shah.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images, used in commerce.

In other words, it is the property created with the use of intellect and out of the intellectual labour of the creator\inventor. The idea and expression of such an idea is the person’s own original work and out of his ‘skill and labour.’

Nature of Intellectual Property

The intellectual property is intangible i.e., it has a physical embodiment or an expression of the creation but not necessarily. It differs from movable and tangible properties like one’s land or house. The intangible properties are incorporeal in nature. Some examples of IP include book, poem, working model/invention, plant varieties from an area etc…

Why IP Is Called A Property

IP is called a property for the very reason that it has a ‘commercial value’ and industrial utility to it. A property can be sold, altered and enjoyed possession by the owner and the same applies to one’s IP. Such rights are not fundamental but statutory.

As ‘right to property’ is not fundamental under Indian Constitution but a constitutional right. But the legal implications governing the controlling of IP protection gives that exclusive right to enjoy the same for each IP right for a limited period.

Intellectual Property Protection

Businesses need to manage and protect their IP from day one to guard against others with similar ideas. This can give you a competitive advantage by excluding others and assuming a leading market position, Tells Renowned Astro-Business Strategist Hirav Shah.

IP can be protected in various forms of rights. They include copyright which does not need official procedure but proof of creation, as well as patents, trademarks, and industrial designs which rights can be applied through an IP office.

The purpose behind the statutes governing the IPR field, have only one objective of protecting the original work of the creator for a limited time, to respect the skill and creativity in spending time to create or invent something.

Intellectual Property Rights Classification

1.Patents

A patent gives to its owner the exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, selling and importing/exporting the patented invention. To obtain a patent, an invention must be novel, useful and nonobvious.

There are two primary types of patents: utility (which generally lasts for 20 years) and design (which generally lasts for 15 years).

2.Copyright

Granted to expression of ideas in physical form or in other expressed terms. Artistic, dramatic, musical and written works of a creator. The registration of the same is not necessary in some countries. The work has to be original and out of his own creativity. International term of copyright period extends to 50 years after the creator’s demise as well.

3.Trademark

 

A mark, sign, form, an arrangement or combination of the colours or lines, name of a product, which makes it distinguishable from other products and to identify the brand name. It mainly helps to promote the company brand and to help the public differentiate the same from others. It is synonymously called as service marks.

4.Design

The pattern, structure, that forms the product. The intricate and aesthetic features of the product that makes it unique from others. It must not be deceptively similar to another design or used before applying for registration. It is different from copyright and trademark.

5.Geographical indication & other rights

A plant variety or a type of food that is located in a particular geographical locality or a part of the country be under geographical indication. It helps to identify the origin of such a product or type of product to the people. Other IP rights include trade secrets and undisclosed information.

Final Thoughts

Owning intellectual property is like owning land: You need to keep investing in it again and again to get a payoff; you can’t simply sit back and collect rent.

Recognize that intellectual property is a precious commodity that will only become more valuable as the dominance of the digital world continues. It is an important legal and cultural issue for society today.

Think twice before saying you can’t afford to protect your intellectual property. Instead, understand that you simply can’t afford not to- Concludes Hirav Shah, India’s Most Trusted Business Advisor and Astro Strategist™.