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Discuss The Most Common Intellectual Property Rights Problems

November 28th, 2019Most Common Intellectual Property

Intellectual property rights play a very crucial role across all sectors. The agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement which is administered by the World Trade Organization. It sets down the minimum standards for various intellectual property regulations. India is also TRIPS-compliant.

What is intellectual property? The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property as the “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce”. In essence, intellectual property refers to a brand, an invention, a design, or any other kind of creation that a business or an individual has legal rights over.

There are four main types of intellectual property:

  • Patent: the title which gives its owner the right to keep others from exploiting the specific invention that is mentioned in the patent. It protects the ornamental or functional features. A patent gives the owner the right to exclude anyone else from creating, using, selling, or even importing the invention that has been patented. In exchange, the full disclosure of the invention as well all technical details are provided.
  • Trademark: the specific sign through which a business identifies its services or product. This sign can be any distinguishing word (or words), marks, or any other features. This helps differentiate the services and products provided by the business from that of its competitors.
  • Copyright: the legal term that describes the rights that are given to creators for their original creations. These creations could be literary, artistic, or musical. This gives them the ability to control how their creations will be used thereafter. Copyright protection has two main parts: moral rights that ensure that the creator has the right to be identified as the author of the work as well as object to any distortion; and economic rights, which allow the creator to decide how the creation is used and receive economic benefits from it.
  • Trade Secrets: this term refers to proprietary and secret information that is of commercial value. It is information that is not known publicly and the owner (usually a business) takes steps to ensure the secrecy. The protection of the trade secret lasts only until the information is not of value anymore or when the steps taken to keep it a secret are not maintained anymore.

When it comes to the to the topic of issues with intellectual property rights, the main issue is not the different kinds of legal issues. The primary issue is awareness of the rights and laws and treating them with sufficient importance. The intellectual property rights system in India has very strong laws. However, there are many loopholes as it is not implemented effectively. The reason that this happens is because intellectual property issues are not given any priority. It is a major challenge to convince the judiciary as well as the law enforcement officials to consider intellectual property rights issues on par with other economic offences.

Plagiarism is a prominent issue when it comes to intellectual property rights problems. Plagiarism is the act of stealing another person’s intellectual property and using it as one’s own without giving any credit to the original author or inventor. This intellectual property can include ideas, inventions, words, slogans, original works of authorship, and any proprietary information.

Intellectual property infringement can also happen through trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. This can even threaten the general public. For instance, counterfeit medication can post a health risk to consumers. For these reasons, it is important to place importance on intellectual property rights issues.

With the spread of digital technology and the use of the internet, it has become easier than ever to showcase intellectual property online. However, this seemingly positive development also comes with its problems. While intellectual property rights do apply on the internet, it is not very easy to enforce them.  It is extremely easy to copy digital works because they are low in cost and their quality is near-perfect. Published works of any sort are all very susceptible to piracy on the internet. It is quite difficult to monitor all cases where intellectual property rights are not adhered to on the internet and then bring the perpetrators to justice.

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