Protecting intellectual property matters a lot not only on the inventors and creators but also on the society as a whole (Wayne, 2006). Intellectual property rights can be considered as one of the fundamental component in the development of the cultural, social and economic aspects of the society. The importance of intellectual property on the cultural aspect can be viewed in an instance in the copyright law. It is previously stated that copyright is the right given to the authors to protect and monopolize their works at a specific time.
Moreover, the authors are entitled to get benefit from their works. After the allotted period, their works will eventually be accessible for the public. The society can now benefit through the encouragement that their works can provide which can lead to affluent culture. Consequently, infringement of these kinds of works will threaten the society’s cultural development (Wayne, 2006). On the economic aspect, intellectual property rights on intangible objects not only provides legal rights to the inventors and manufactures but it also dictates the economic status of a country.
Innovations and new inventions may attract foreign investments thus; theft of such innovations may threaten the economic development of the country (Wayne, 2006). It is impossible to build private long-term assets if the society has no protection on intellectual rights (Greenspan, 2004). Meanwhile, intellectual property rights are also considered to be socially significant. Trademarks are considered as business’s greatest asset since it bears the company’s name and credibility. It is stated previously that a trademark identifies the product of a company and serves as an indicator of quality.
A competitor may deceive a consumer by exploiting ones trademark thus; the assurance of best quality or even worse the safety and health of the consumer is at stake or even lost (Wayne, 2006). Considering all the said aspects and values, it can be stated that protecting intellectual property is very necessary and significant in a society in developing its culture and economy and at the same time protecting and ensuring the safety of its people. It is also important that the society has sufficient knowledge on intellectual property law.
Patent, as stated previously, is the right granted to the inventor or creator to control the commercial production, distribution and selling of the inventions that offers a new solution to a problem. A patent of an invention is issued by the United States Trademark and Patent Office. Patent law is comprised of a broad range of fields and a patent can be categorized as utility patent, design patent or plant patent. Utility patent provides protection on mechanical, chemical and electrical inventions. Majority of the patents granted by the USPTO can be categorized to utility patent.
The design patent provides protection on an original and ornamental feature of an article of manufacture and not the function of the article. Meanwhile, a plant patent is the type of patent granted by the USPTO who has asexually reproduced a new strain of plants. The USPTO statute provides a broad range of fields that can be patented as well as the conditions for patenting. The USPTO determines a wide range of statutory requirements needed to be fulfilled for an invention to be granted a utility patent.
The statute states that the utility patent can be obtained when the invention offers a new solution to a problem; in short it encompasses every new and useful invention. However, the USPTO has recently determined non-statutory inventions which are considered as indistinguishable from abstract ideas and laws of nature. The Office recognize some items with regard to software patent such as data structures or programs per se, non-functional descriptive materials (music, literary works and arrangement of data) and electromagnetic signals (non-statutory natural phenomena).