Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind inventions: literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories.
Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
Copyright covers literary works (such as novels, poems and plays), films, music, artistic works (e.q.. drawings, paintings,photographs and sculptures) and architectural design. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and broadcasters in their radio and television programs.
What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property rights are like any other property right. They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work or investment III a creation. These rights are outlined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary or artistic productions.
The importance of intellectual property was first recognized in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) Both treaties are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WI PO).
Why promote and protect intellectual property?
There are several compelling reasons. First the progress and well-being of humanity rest on its capacity to create and invent new works in the areas of technology and culture. Second, the legal protection of new creations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation. Third, the promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life.
An efficient and equitable intellectual property system can help all countries to realize intellectual property's potential as a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being. The intellectual property system helps strike a balance between the interests of innovators and the public interest providing an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish, for the benefit of all.
How does the average person benefit?
Intellectual property rights reward creativity and human endeavor, which fuel the progress of humankind some examples, the multibillion dollar film, recording, publishing and software industries - which bring pleasure to millions of people worldwide - would not exist without copyright protection. Without the rewards provided by the patent system, researchers and Inventors would have little incentive to continue producing better and more effiCient products for consumers.
Consumers would have no means to confidently buy products or services without reliable, international trademark protection and enforcement mechanisms to discourage counterfeiting and piracy.