Relevance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

This post was first published on November 18, 2014.


Here is the first post in the series of Student Blog Contest. This post is authored by Pallavi Singh.

Intellectual Property Rights are legally recognized exclusive rights to protect creations of the mind. Along with human creativity and inventiveness, IPR is all around us. Almost every product or service that we use in our daily lives is the result of a long chain of big or small innovation, such as changes in design or improvements that make a product look or function the way it does today. Take for example, the ballpoint pen. Ladislao Biros’ famous patent on ballpoint pens was in many ways a breakthrough. But, like him, many others have improved the product and its designs and legally protected their improvements through the acquisition of IP Rights. The trademark on your pen is also Intellectual Property and it helps the producer market the product and develop loyal clientele. Common types of IPR include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

“An IPR is a license to sue.” It provides competitive advantage, negotiation tools, helps build partnerships, attracts capital, markets the PR value, it creates image of a trustworthy organisation etc. IP is protected under the law, a law which enables people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

In general, IPR is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use. The ownership of IP inherently creates a limited monopoly for protected property. The products of the human intellect that comprise the subject matter of IP are typically characterized as non-rivalrous public goods. Essentially, this means that the same product may be used simultaneously by more than one person without diminishing the availability of that product for use by others.

Intellectual Property law deals with rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs and artistic works. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, so too does it protect the exclusive control of intangible assets. The purpose of these laws is to give an incentive for people to develop creative works that benefit society, by ensuring they can profit from their works without fear of misappropriation by others. IP protection encourages the publication, distribution and disclosure of the creation to the public, rather than keeping it secret while at the same time encouraging commercial enterprises to select creative works for exploitation. IP legal titles relate to the acquisition and use of a range of rights covering different types of creation. These may be industrial or literary and artistic. IP confers on individuals, enterprises or other entities the right to exclude others from the use of their creations. Consequently, IPRs may have a direct and substantial impact on the industry and trade as the owner of an IPR may – through the enforcement of such a right – prevent the manufacture, use or sale of a product which incorporates the IPR.

 – Post authored by Pallavi Singh