As the world moves towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, it is essential to protect this knowledge from theft and misuse. Which is where Intellectual Property Rights comes to the rescue
Every Harry Potter fan would admit to wanting to be a wizard someday. The world-renowned franchise not only won hearts, but its copyright hauled $25 billion in revenue.
A similar story is that of the most adored and unparalleled brand in technology, Apple, whose trademarked brand value stood at over $100 billion (as of 2017). Global businesses such as Novartis and General Motors, too, have used Intellectual Property Law (IPR) to generate enormous value from intangible assets. The world’s most valuable intellectual property assets are overshadowing the worth of their real-world counterparts.
What is the need for IPR?
David P. Miranda, an Intellectual Property Rights lawyer based in New York, had defined Intellectual Property in one of this TED talks as “a non-physical property, which stems from or whose value is based on an idea or some ideas. There has to be some element of novelty.”
Today, Intellectual Property has become the new currency of the world. The United States, which was once the powerhouse of intellectual property, has been challenged by strong growth in Asian markets. However, the concept is not new and dates to the 1624 Statue of Monopolies, in which the origins of patent law were found. The Internet was covered in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The global economy was agrarian-based. Its dependency shifted from agriculture to manufacturing and service industries and now, it is gradually moving towards becoming a knowledge-based market.
It is to protect this knowledge from theft and misuse where IPR comes into play.
Imagine you worked hard on an idea and, say, invented an appliance, based on it. IPR lets you protect your innovation through several mechanisms:
You give your appliance a new name and logo and that becomes your Trademark. This will distinguish your product/service from others and protect your business’ commercial identity as the source of valuable goods and services.
You can Copyright the design of the appliance. This will protect your original work. The design of the Coca Cola bottle is protected under the copyright act, giving the company the right to protect its creation from selling or using it.
Or if you have invented a novel technology in the appliance that has not been used before, you can Patent it. Pharmaceutical companies spend years and millions of dollars on research because they have time-bound protection of patent under IPR.
Another type of IPR is called Trade Secret, which is any information that has value and is not made public. In 1886, a pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton came up with the recipe of Coca Cola. He decided to keep it a trade secret and it is still safe even after over 100 years.
Intellectual Property permeates in our lives more and more every day. YouTube is a trademark and even and your comments on YouTube could come under copyright. When you write a blog and the moment you hit publish, you get an automatic copyright. The videos (motion work) we view on the browser, the websites (literary work) we browse, to the web browser (computer program) itself are all protected under IPR.
Intellectual Property is the fuel that can power the world’s economic growth by harnessing, developing, protecting, and commercialising people’s imagination and innovation. Intellectual property, although in many more aspects more valuable than physical property, is much more difficult to protect. Which is why, IPR is touted to become the most coveted specialisation in the future.
A lawyer specialising in IPR has a plethora of well-paying prospects including becoming an Associate Advisor, Patent Engineer, Patent Trademark Consultant, Legal Advisor,or a Legal Associate to name a few.
Choose UPES School of Law to master IPR
The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) School of Law offers LL.B in IPR, offering specialisations to students in Intellectual Property and how it creates value. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the dynamically-evolving techno-legal issues in the science and technology sectors. With companies dedicating large resources to research and development, the demand for protecting IPR has risen dramatically and is believed to increase further.
Sources: Statista, Forbes, TED