"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." - Esther Dyson
Introduction to IPR
The phrase "intellectual property rights" (often abbreviated as "IPR") relates
to the legal rights that are granted to the inventor or creator in order to
safeguard his idea or invention for a set amount of time. These legal rights
grant the inventor or creator, or anyone else who is assigned that right by the
inventor or creator, the exclusive right to fully utilize their invention or
creation for a specified amount of time.
An intellectual property right is a powerful tool, which can safeguard assets,
time, money, and efforts made by the originator or creator of intellectual
property because it grants the inventor or creator an exclusive right to use his
invention or creation for a certain period.
This right is granted for a certain amount of time. It has been proven beyond a
reasonable doubt that intellectual property plays a significant part in the
contemporary economy. In addition, it has been demonstrated beyond a reasonable
doubt that the intellectual effort that is linked with the innovation ought to
be accorded the importance that is due to it for the public good to result from
The term "intellectual property," or "IP," refers to any original work produced
by the human intellect, whether it be an artistic, literary, technological, or
scientific achievement. There has been a significant increase in the amount of
money spent on research and development (R&D), and there has also been an
increase in the amount of money that needs to be invested in order to bring a
new product to market.
The developers of new technologies now have a lot riding on their work, and as a
result, it is more important than ever to protect their intellectual property
from being stolen or used in a way that is against the law. This is necessary in
order to guarantee the recovery of Research & development activities and other
associated costs, as well as adequate profits to fund ongoing investments in
Research and development.
Expansion of IPR
In addition to the fact that intellectual property is the backbone of our
economy, there has been tremendous growth in the scope of intellectual property
law and the activities that surround it over the course of the past few decades,
with this expansion particularly picking up speed over the past five to ten
years. In both our personal and professional lives, intellectual property (IP)
is playing an increasingly significant role. As we may anticipate, the number of
copyrights, patents, and trademarks is growing each year.
Additionally, the number of copyrights is increasing. Therefore, there has been
a significant amount of growth and activity. At the same time, even if we are
expanding increasingly, the amount of intellectual property (IP) that we have
out there and the method that we use IP has not changed.
Although we are confident that it will result in a favourable outcome, there are
many aspects of the system, including its actual costs and advantages, that we
do not understand well. There is no question in our minds that the IP system's
prices will continue to rise. What are the expenses associated with IP?
When you stop and think about it, the simple fact that we have more patents to
analyze means that we need more patent examiners. Since more people are applying
for patents, we need to increase our staff of patent examiners so that we can
keep up with the demand.
The processing and issuance of an increasing number of patents bring with it an
increased likelihood of patent infringement lawsuits. And because there is a
greater possibility of legal conflict, there are more attorneys participating in
the patent process, both in terms of evaluating patents and in terms of actually
challenging those patents.
When attempting to develop a new product or service in the present day, we are
obligated to take into consideration patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
Because there are more of them every day, it becomes more and more difficult to
create a product, a good, or a service and get that shipped without worrying
about infringing on the intellectual property rights of another person.
Since there are more of them every day, there is also an increase in the
complexity of the process. All of them are hence costs associated with the
system. If we are going to actually enforce your intellectual property rights,
it will be an extremely expensive endeavour. However, the costs associated with
the system will continue.
Why IP is valuable?
The term "intellectual property" can refer to a wide range of diverse things,
including company logos and identities, as well as the goods, services, and
procedures that set your company apart from its competitors. When these concepts
are employed in a manner that is not authorized, it can be detrimental to an
There is little doubt that virtually all businesses have benefited from the
internet, which enables firms to sell their products, services, and
communications to a broad audience at comparatively minimal cost; nevertheless,
this has also increased the likelihood that intellectual property will be
stolen. Because businesses of any size, no matter where they are located in the
world, are susceptible to having their distinctive concepts, goods, or services
stolen by competitors, protecting their intellectual property is more crucial
than it has ever been.
When you come up with a fantastic concept for a product or service, there will
inevitably be those who wish to imitate your achievements and pass off their
versions of your ideas as their own. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are all
types of intellectual property that cover distinct grounds, and your choice of
which one to employ will depend on the specifics of your situation.
These can be used to stop other people, including potential rivals, from
utilizing your ideas for their own financial gain without first obtaining your
permission. IP protection is available to companies of all sizes; even large
corporations have had their intellectual property violated, leading to lawsuits
costing huge sums. For example, the dispute between Samsung and Apple.
If you operate a small-scale business, securing the intellectual property rights
to any distinctive goods or services that you offer is of the utmost importance.
If your rivals capitalize on your success, they will be able to take a larger
portion of the market, which will either slow your company's growth or cause it
to experience a decline in revenue. When a firm is still in its early stages of
development, losing market share may be heart-breaking.
Trying to track out the responsible person without legal protection can be
time-consuming and frustrating. It is essential to keep in mind that only you
will investigate whether someone has infringed on your intellectual property. It
is your obligation to make certain that no one else is making use of the
resources you own and control.
In the creative industry, such as publishing, music, or cinema, copyright
permits writers, performers, producers, and other creators to earn an economic
incentive in exchange for their works and actions, which enrich cultural legacy,
improve the cultural variety, and benefit society as a whole.
The health and safety of individuals, particularly children, are placed in
jeopardy since many items that are being passed off as authentic do not meet the
relevant safety regulations (for example, where automobile spare parts, toys, or
pharmaceutical products are concerned).
The enforcement of intellectual property rights, such as trademarks and designs,
in relation to such items, inhibits their introduction into the market and
assures that customers can rely on the safety and quality of authentic products
manufactured by the company that first produced them.
Expansion of Overlapping IPR
The scope of the things that can now be protected under intellectual property
law has grown to an unreasonable level. Over the course of the last few decades,
the laws governing design patents, copyright, and trademarks have all undergone
substantial development. Laws pertaining to the granting of design patents were
initially created in the 1800s with the purpose of protecting the decorative
look of various types of consumer goods.
Under several categories of intellectual property law, it has, for a long time,
been possible to get legal protection for certain parts of a product. However,
because of recent developments in patent law, copyright law, and trademark law,
there are now overlapping intellectual property rights (IPR). This occurred
completely unintentionally. This presents an issue since different bodies of
intellectual property law have varying terms of protection.
And these concepts are derived from a compromise between many conflicting
interests. Specifically, the provision of sufficient property protection to
promote investments in creativity and innovation but not prohibiting such
innovation and creativity from benefiting the public or being publicly
available. Getting protection under numerous types of intellectual property law
at the same time might throw off this delicate equilibrium.
When the period of protection expires, property rights are terminated in
accordance with the laws governing design patents and copyrights. The subject
matter of the design patent should be released into the public domain when the
term of 14 years has passed. However, copyright protection typically lasts for
the author's life plus 70 years, which means that copyright protection would
interfere with the subject matter entering the public domain.
Copyright rights will continue to exist for many decades after the expiration of
a design patent, so copyright protection would prevent the subject matter from
entering the public domain. Similarly, trademark rights can potentially infringe
upon subject matter that is shielded by patent law and copyright law. This is
because trademark rights, which have the potential to endure indefinitely, can
continue to exist despite the expiration of any patent or copyright rights.
Written By: Shivam Narwal