I want to discuss a topic that is very confusing to many people out there. This is a subject of discussion that individuals give various definition to suit our needs. It has different interpretations by different people.
According to the definition by wipo.int, intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
TYPES & CATEGORIES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
1. Copyright ( «Copyrights» or ©). Copyright applies to a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. … Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to certain forms of creative work.
Here is an example: a dance performance by itself is not copyrighted, but as soon as the presentation is recorded on a video, it will be protected. In the US, this protection lasts throughout the life of the author plus seventy years. That is so awesome.
2. Patent Law. The patent law prohibits the use of other people’s invention. The law also prohibits the import or sale of your invention during the term of the patent (document proving your exclusive right to the invention). The term of validity of the patent in the United States ranges from 14 to 20 years, depending on what you have patented.
3. Trademarks. A trademark is a symbol that is used in trade to identify a company’s goods or services. It can be a word, image, sound (do not believe it, but yes, the characteristic sound of motorcycles Harley Davidson is a registered trademark), colour, etc. The legislation on trademarks primarily protects the rights of consumers:. When you bought a bottle of Coca-Cola you, as a consumer, need to be absolutely sure that it was bought, and not the Pepsi bottle, and vice versa.
Trademark works as long as the owner keeps it. Few people know that “Aspirin” was once a protected trademark, but the owner could not support the trademark financially so that the trademark hit the so-called public domain, its use became public.
4. A trade secret. A trade secret is information that has economic value, and the adequate protection which allows you to benefit from it, save the reputation, the goods on the market and avoid unnecessary costs.
In recent years, many states have passed laws that address misappropriation of a trade secret as a crime involving deprivation of liberty.
WHY YOU NEED PROTECTION FROM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT
I will give you clues on how important it is to protect their intellectual property rights outside Russia:
1. Theft of ideas
You invented something very valuable, what has long been waiting for the market. Then you find a potential investor, presented him your idea but it was refused. Unfortunately, very often together with the refusal not only do you not get the investment but also can lose your idea. In other words, he has stolen your unprotected idea from you and that is why he refused your idea/proposal.
Moral: if your idea is not protected and, for example, you have not formed a complete set of documents for filing a patent application, there is nothing stopping anyone from stealing such an invention or an idea (potential investors do not like to sign a non-disclosure agreement.).
2. Do you have only a year protection
As in the first example, you invented some product and set up the production, but did not become the first thing to draw a patent application or law suit. Then, after more than a year of success in business, you know that your product is not protected and you decide to patent it. But by that time it may be too late because the application has been submitted by someone else.
Moral: in most countries, including the United States, if you have not filed a patent application within 12 months – you can not ever get a patent on that invention.
3. Brand Protection
You have opened a new business under the brand name “Lemmy”. Your brand “Lemmy” is developing successfully, but one morning you could wake up a find yourself in a court of law as a defendant in the lawsuit for violation of the use of another’s trade mark.
Moral: you need a patent attorney to make sure that the brand “lemmy” does not belong to other companies. A good example – when Apple began selling the iPad in China, the second, then got sued for trademark infringement for using the name “IPad 2”, which belonged to another Chinese company.
4. copyright content
You run your company’s website and use it on some image “from the Internet.”A couple of months later, you get a letter from the owner of a particular image, demanding payment for the unauthorised use of the images.
Moral: you have to get permission Copyright-holder before using his image or materials. This is a real case: many people face stringent penalties.
5. Still about copyright
Still using our example in №4, you run your company’s website. You hire a copywriter to write articles about your business. Copywriter writes articles, and you are proud to place them on your site. Three months later, you notice that the same article is posted on the website of your competitor. Of course, you need to remove an article by competitor, but if he refuses? You show him a lawsuit for copyright infringement … and you lose!
Moral: you are the copyright owner of the article, only if a copywriter wrote them to you as an employee under an employment contract ( “work-made-for-hire”). If the copywriter was not your employee and has written articles as a freelancer, you are outside the law, as copyrighted articles will own it, not you.