Bestselling international novels are available on the streets for as less as Rs.50. Piracy of software and music is so rampant that it is becoming increasingly impossible to keep a check. At a time like this, when even pirated toys and parallel goods seem to be available in almost every street market in the country, there is an urgent need for safeguarding rights and interests. Even though there have been efforts to educate the public about the importance of copyright issues, many are of the opinion that there is still much work to be done. As mediums of communication increase, people face the problem of identifying the actual owner of a particular idea or thought.
The situation has further become complex with the widespread use of the Internet. Information, images, and even sound can be transferred to any corner of the globe within a fraction of a second. Any unauthorised person can transmit information without even getting permission from the actual owner, causing monetary losses running in billions. It thus becomes necessary for organisations to protect their work, whether hardware, software, written or photographic material.
“With the Internet being used for so many applications such as online education, ordering, and communication, companies are finding it very difficult to protect their interests,” says advocate Harsha Punjabi.
Intellectual Properties Rights (IPR) are statutory rights that allow the creator or owner of a work product to prevent others from exploiting it for commercial purposes. These rights make the creator the owner of the work. IPR is not a modern concept, though it has gained popularity only in modern times. This movement of safeguarding that started with the invention of the printing press has now taken global shape in the form of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Right Agreement). “As there are numerous ways and means of protecting physical assets, similarly there are several tools to safeguard intangible properties like books, poems, inventions (scientific or technological), industrial creations, agricultural innovations, films or anything created originally by human resources,” informs advocate Deepti Raja.
“With international economic developments whereby business agreements and negotiations are being governed by global concerns, there is an urgent need for an exhaustive and detailed study of IP laws,” says Punjabi.
“Companies who have created and protected their intellectual property today rule world commerce. No company embodies this better than Microsoft, which has been built entirely on the strength of its software programmes that are protected through copyright. Thus, products (eg DVDs) are protected by patents, software (eg Windows) by copyright, goodwill (eg the logo of Mercedes Benz) by trademarks, appearance (design of a Rolex watch) by designs, and spatial arrangements of the components on a microchip (Pentium IV) by semiconductor layout-designs.
“The specific legal issues that arise in relation to IP differ from industry to industry. In the entertainment industry, copyright law would be important. On the other hand, for engineering designs, industrial laws would apply, whereas for the knowledge-based industry, patents would be primary,” says Raja.
To understand clearly which IPR applies to which form of intangible asset is a complex issue. Further, the question of how and where to apply for the protection, and thereafter with whom the rights vest, at times is difficult to ascertain. These rights and laws vary in each country. Profit sharing between individuals, between companies and inventors, inventors and the industry too is defined and limited by local rules and laws. Hence, it is very relevant to know and to appreciate a larger perspective of IP law, not merely from a legal standpoint but also from the perspective of the industry.
WHERE TO TRAIN?
Several courses are available for IPR. Most law programmes have a module on or offer specialisation in IP. The courses are suitable for working professionals as well as students aspiring to a career in IP. Many courses are designed in a manner so that they appeal not only to law students but also other legal/ paralegal professionals. Business leaders would also benefit immensely from these courses, as they would help them identify and harness the intellectual wealth produced by their organisations.
Courses are geared towards trends and strategies in industrial, agricultural, literary, and information technology related fields, management of IPRs, national and international IPR issues, and such other aspects.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ?
- PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights
- PG Diploma in Patent Basics and Introduction to IPR
- PG Diploma in Patent Litigation
- PG Diploma in Cyber Laws and Intellectual Property Rights
- Diploma in Intellectual Property law
- Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights (full-time)
- Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights (Distance Learning)
- Certificate course in IPR
WHAT’S THE ELIGIBILITY?
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university. Candidates in the final year of bachelor’s degree course may also apply.
- Will you be able to understand the use of new technology and applications very quickly?
- Do you have good written communication skills?
- Will you be able to keep abreast of different laws that are enforced by the government and apply them in practical situations?
- Will you be able to interpret the meanings of technical as well as legal documents?
- Do you have sound thinking and reasoning abilities?
- Do you have reasonable analytical skills?
IN A NUTSHELL
Trademark: A trademark can be a logo, a symbol, word, phrase, jingle, picture, sound or even smell, or a combination.
Patent: A patent is the right of an individual or an organisation to gain profit from a particular invention. A patent is basically an intellectual property relating to scientific and technological inventions.
Copyright: It is a tool protecting the original literary works like books, novels, lyrics, songs, and computer software.
Design: A design is the presentation of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features, colour, size, shape, texture, or materials of
the product or its packaging.
Volume 1 Issue 1