Intellectual Property-Exclusive Rights
By Raveendran Nambyar
The term “intellectual property” denotes the specific legal rights which authors, inventors and other property holders may hold and exercise, and not the intellectual work itself. The laws confer a bundle of exclusive rights in relation to the particular form or manner in which ideas or information are expressed or manifested, and not in relation to the ideas or concepts themselves.
They are designed to protect different forms of subject matter. Copyright may subsist in creative and artistic works (e.g. books, poems, movies, music, paintings, photographs, databases, and software) and give a copyright holder the exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time.
A patent may be granted for a new, useful, and non-obvious invention, and gives the patent holder an exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for a certain period of time (typically 20 years from the filing date of a patent application).
A trademark is a distinctive sign which is used to distinguish the products or services of differentbusiness.
An industrial design right protects the form of appearance, style or design of an industrial object (e.g. spare parts, furniture, or textiles).
A trade secret (which is sometimes either equated with, or a subset of, “confidential information”) is secret, non-public information concerning the commercial practices or proprietary knowledge of a business, public disclosure of which may sometimes be illegal.
Patents, trademarks, and designs rights are sometimes collectively known as industrial property, as they are typically created and used for industrial or commercial purposes.
The protection of intellectual property is that the laws facilitate and encourage the pursuit and disclosure of innovation into the public domain for the common good, by granting authors and inventors exclusive rights to exploit their works and invention for a limited period. From the perspective of economics, intellectual property is a temporary monopoly in the use or exploitation of that good, supported by legal enforcement mechanisms.