Intellectual Property is defined under certain statutes as any product of an individual that involves a creative step that is not already protected by law. Essentially, anything that is created, provided that it falls under the different specifications under the law such as the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) or the GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs), can be treated as Intellectual Property and is thus subject to the different protections that International and Local law affords.
This is important because these laws govern the ability of a company or business to market itself and develop its market base, subject of course to these legal restrictions. The protections on Intellectual Property can fall under the ambit of Copyright, Trademark and Patents. The first subject matter to be discussed is that of Patent. There are basically three (3) types of patents that an individual can apply for. The first type is called the Utility Patent. This type of patent is given to any person who is able to invent or discover any novel and useful process, machine, and manufactured article or matter composition.
It also includes any new and useful improvement of such. The second type of patent is the design patent. This patent is given to anyone who is able to create an original and novel ornamental design for any manufactured article. The third type of patent is the plant patent, which is given to anyone who invents or discovers any distinct new variety of plant. Relevant to this discussion is the Madrid Agreement and Protocol which is a procedure by which any state that is a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property may invoke the international protection that is given to the patent.
Trademark and patent owners may now avail of international protection over their intellectual property rights without the need for filing a separate application in a foreign country. Being a signatory to any of the agreements entitles the citizens of the signatory country to seek the intellectual property protection of any of the party states to the agreement. The second form of protection for Intellectual Property is Copyright. Copyright basically serves to protect any artistic or intellectual creation of an author or writer. Items such as books, magazines, articles, songs and the like all fall under the protection of Copyright.
In a similar manner, Copyright can also be invoked to protect certain ideas that come from a single, distinct, and identifiable source that have been reproduced for profit without the consent or authority of the author or creator. The protection of copyright is such that it even protects the creation of works that are done by an employee of a company. Certain statutes provide expressly that in case a work is created by an author during and in the course of his employment, the copyright belongs to the employer, if the work is the result of his other duties, unless they have an express or implied agreement to the contrary.
If the creation of the work is not a part of the regular duties of the employee, the copyright belongs to him, even if he used the time, facilities and materials of the employer. Under these guidelines, it is clear that there are very strict rules that not only protect intellectual property under certain circumstance but also rules to prevent other people from profiting from them. The last safeguard for Intellectual Property is Trademark. Trademark is a very visible and wide issue because of the fact that it is seen in everyday things.
Given the globalization of the world economy, it is now currently the most violated aspect of Intellectual Property Law at present. Under this legal protection, the owner of the trademark has a right to prevent any person from committing trademark infringement or any act that is not in good faith with regard to the use of the company logo. There have been several cases involving trademark. One of the most publicized being the case of Crocodile Clothing and Lacoste wherein Lacoste invoked the protection of its trademark. It alleged that Crocodile Clothing used the iconic logo of Lacoste (the crocodile) in a manner that was contrary to law.
Crocodile Clothing, on the other hand, contended that it was not a violation of trademark laws because there was a marked difference as the crocodile on their shirts was facing the opposite direction. The courts eventually ruled in favor of Lacoste. Conclusion It is clear from the foregoing that the conduct of business necessitates the consideration of several factors. From the application to the safeguards and requirements, there are several matters that one needs to take care of because of the complexities of conducting business these days.
Aside from the liabilities that are attached to the owner or business, there are also other considerations under the law that invariably affects the conduct of business such as trade regulations. It is therefore imperative for any person interested in conducting business to fully study and analyze these requirements so that business can be done properly. WORKS CITED: Bagley, C. E. & Savage, D. W. (2006). Managers and the legal environment: Strategies for the 21st century (5th ed. ).
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