1) What is an Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property also known as IP is a category that contains certain properties that refer to the creations of the mind, inventions, literary and artistic works, trade secrets, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Intellectual property (IP) can be divided into two large categories as described below.
2) Types of intellectual property (IP):
Intellectual Property (IP) can also be divided into two classes, these two classes are:
2.1) Industrial Property:
A patent is a form of an exclusive right granted by the government to an inventor for an invention of a product or process that provides a new way of doing something, or that offers a new technical solution to a problem. Giving the owner the right to exclude others from making or using or selling or importing the invention for a limited period of time.
Here are some few examples of Patents:
– C Pen (Pen with a scanner):
This is a machine that is as small as a pen, and users can transfer a text from a paper directly into the computer. Christer Fåhraeus is the inventor of the C pen. The first model was launched in 1998 and it is still being in development until this day.
– Steel kidneys (a dialysis machine):
In 1946, after receiving a grant from the state a doctor in Lund named Nils Alwall, began developing a dialysis machine for people that are suffering from kidney diseases. Just over twenty years later, his new invention started to be mass produced.
– Three-point seat belt:
Nils Bohlin invented a lifesaving invention, he invented a three-point belt, according to Volvo’s study, and this invention was responsible for the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives. This Belt was much safer and comfortable than the older ones. In 1985, Nils Bohlin’s three-point seat belt was awarded a prize by the West German patent authority for being one of the most practical and beneficial to the general public.
A trademark is a distinctive sign or design or an expression which identifies and distinguishes certain goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company from the similar products or services of other traders. Its origin and history date back to ancient times when craftsmen reproduced their signatures on their artistic works or products.
Examples of trademarks:
An industrial design refers to a process of a design being applied to products that are manufactured through mass production. Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of industrial products and handicrafts varying from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items.
An Example of an industrial design:
Copyright covers literary and artistic works such as novels, music, poems, films, drawings…
Copyright is defined according to the governing laws of a specific country. A copyright legally acknowledges the exclusive right of the authors, creators or writers of an original for its use and distribution. Most of the time it is valid only for a limited period of time. However, these exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations to the copyright law
Copyright law protects a wide range of creations such as:
- Books, brochures, and newspapers.
- Theatrical works.
- Oral presentations.
- Choreographic works.
- Music (with or without words).
- Drawings, paintings, buildings, and sculptures.
- Photographic works.
- Computer programs and software.
3) How can Intellectual Property be protected:
Intellectual Property rights are like any other property or asset right, they allow creators and owners of trademarks or patents or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work. Legal protection of new works and ideas encourages creators and people in general in innovating and spurs the economic growth and enhances the quality of products.
In order to secure a patent, the creator has to file a patent application, this application must generally contain the title of the invention as well as an indication of its technical field. It must also include a background and a description of the invention in a clear language. The description of the product should also be accompanied by visual materials such as drawings, plans or diagrams. In order for an invention to be patentable, it must generally be of practical use, and it also must show an inventive step. Patent rights are powerful laws that are enforced in courts. Patent protection forbids making, using and selling an invention without the consent of the owner of the invention.
Trademark protection ensures that only the owner of the mark has the exclusive right to use it to for example identify goods or services, trademarks protection is also enforced by courts according to the law. Trademarks also play a major role in promoting enterprises worldwide by rewording their owners with financial profit. In order to register a trademark, a creator has first to file an application to the national or a regional trademark office. The application must contain a clear reproduction of the sign including, colors, forms, and three-dimensional features. Obviously, the sign must fulfill certain conditions in order to be protected as a trademark. Via trademark protection, an intellectual property can be protected and secured.
In order for the law to protect an industrial design, the creator must register the design, the design, however, must be new or original, once it is registered, a registration certificate is issued and just like that the protection is granted for usually 5 years, and can be of course renewed.
Unlike a patent or a trademark, copyright protection is obtained automatically without the need for registration or any other formalities. However, a creator can register his copyright because a certificate of registration is a clear evidence that the creator’s work is protected by copyright and is the full owner of the work.