Intellectual property is the product of the human intellect including creativity concepts, inventions, industrial models, trademarks, songs, literature, symbols, names, brands,....etc. Intellectual Property Rights do not differ from other property rights. They allow their owner to completely benefit from his/her product which was initially an idea that developed and crystallized. They also entitle him/her to prevent others from using, dealing or tampering with his/her product without prior permission from him/her. He/she can in fact legally sue them and force them to stop and compensate for any damages.
History of IPR
IPR is not a new concept. It is believed that IPR initially started in North Italy during the Renaissance era. In 1474, Venice issued a law regulating patents protection that granted an exclusive right for the owner. The copyright dates back to 1440 A.D. when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with replaceable/moveable wooden or metal letters. Late in the 19th century, a number of countries felt the necessity of laying down laws regulating IPR. Globally, two conventions constituting the basis for IPR system worldwide had been signed; Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886).
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Protection of IPR allows the innovator, brand owner, patent holder and copyright holder to benefit from his/her work, labor and investment, which does not mean monopoly of the intellect. Such rights are set out in the International Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to benefit from the protection of the moral and physical interests resulting from the right holder’s work; literal or artistic product.
What is the Difference Between Forgery and Counterfeiting?
- Forgery of a trademark means a complete transfer being identical from the unique brand or transferring the main parts thereof making the forged brand greatly identical to the original one.
- Counterfeiting a trademark means making a brand similar in total to the original one in a manner that might mislead the public in connection with the source of goods that are marked by the brand in question.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, pictures, models and industrial designs.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories:
- Industrial Property, which includes: inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and models and geographic indications of source.
- Copyright, which includes: literary and artistic works, namely novels, poems, plays, films, musicals, cartoons, paintings, photographs, statues and architectural designs.
Related Rights is a term in copyright law, used to include the rights of performers in their performances, the rights of producers of phonograms in their recordings and the rights of broadcasting organizations in the radio and television programs they air.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a sign that individualizes the goods or services of a given enterprise and distinguishes them from those of competitors. To fall under law protection, a trademark must be distinctive, and not deceptive, illegal or immoral.
What is a Geographical Indication?
A geographical indication is basically a notice stating that a given product originates in a given geographical area.
What is an Industrial Design or Model?
It is the aesthetics and ergonomics of a product. It consists of three-dimensional elements, such as the creation of the product’s shape, or two- dimensional ones, such as graphics, patterns and colors.
What is a Patent?
Patent is an exclusive right granted by law to an inventor or assignee to prevent others from commercially benefiting from his/her patented invention without permission, for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of patented invention.
What is a Trade Name?
A trade name or business name is a name that uniquely distinguishes a business from others.
What is a Trade Secret?
A trade secret is any information of commercial value concerning production or sales operations which is not generally known. The owner of a trade secret must take reasonable measures to maintain its confidentiality.
What is an Integrated Circuit?
A product, in its final form or intermediate form, in which the elements, or at least one of which is an active element, and whereby the interconnections are integrally formed in and/or on a piece of material, which is intended to perform an electronic function.
What is a Copyright?
Copyright is a form of IPR concerned with protecting works of human intellect. The domain of copyright is literary and artistic works, might that be writings, musicals and works of fine arts, such as paintings and sculptures, as well as technology-based works such as computer programs and electronic databases.
What is a Related Right?
Related Rights or Neighboring Rights are rights that in certain respects resemble copyright. The purpose of related rights is to protect the legal interests of certain individuals, namely performers, producers and broadcasters, and to help them deliver their message to the public.
What is Unfair Competition?
Unfair competition is any act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters.
Why Countries Care for IPR and Seek to Promote and Protect it?
- New innovations in all IPR domains lead to Human progress and advancement.
- Legal protection of new innovations encourages safe spending on other innovations.
- Caring for and protecting IPR contribute to achieving economic and social development.
Forgery and Counterfeiting Techniques
Techniques of counterfeiting and fraudulence are variant depending on the nature and type of the product, perpetrator’s techniques and tools and facilities in place. Techniques of counterfeiting and fraudulence are diverse aiming at seemingly copying an original product.
Technology has a big role in making counterfeit products greatly similar to original ones, making it harder to distinguish between them according to the following:
- Using the external structure of authentic equipment and replacing certain internal parts with counterfeit pieces (computer systems – electrical appliances).
- Affixing adhesive tape onto external parts of the equipment to prevent anyone from opening it and detecting the counterfeit parts therein.
- Affixing adhesive tape especially designed for original products onto counterfeit products to mislead and deceit the consumer.
- Copying containers or packaging of original products and placing counterfeit products inside.
- Counterfeiting the original company’s brand and trade name, affixing them onto the counterfeit product and forging the trade data.
- Collecting and regenerating empty original containers as to have them filled with counterfeit products and repackage them using modern machines.
- Reusing used spare parts by improving, packaging and selling them as new original parts.
- Removing the expiration date from the expired products and rewriting a new date extending the product expiry.