MADHU SOODAN POUDYAL
The World Intellectual Property day was observed this year with the slogan Visionary innovators. We, too, can become a visionary innovator by better understanding the peculiarities of Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property(IP) refers to patent of inventions, in the field of technology; industrial designs for designing for the attraction of products; trademarks or brands for the commercialization of goods and services; copyright and related rights for the protection of literary, scientific and artistic works; trade secrets for carrying out unique business, geographical indication for famous products; and integrated circuit designs used in the electronic appliances. All these are the contents of intellectual property subject to exclusive rights.
IP also deals with the biodiversity and genetic resources, traditional Knowledge (TK) and folklore, protection of new varieties of plant, protection of farmers’ rights, protection of domain names, protection of certain signs such as national emblems, names or acronyms of national or international institutions; and protection of ecommerce. These are the contexts of IPs as they are highly influenced due to exclusive rights.
The context part of IP bears, of course, importance for national or international community in general and use of largely the issue of public importance. Whereas the content part is largely the exclusive private property rights of the individuals and are very essential from human-rights point of view. It is a very powerful tool of value addition, wealth creation and commercialization of industrial products. From the development aspect of a country, it is a very powerful weapon to fight poverty and to enhance the socio-economic and cultural development.
All amenities and consumables and physical facilities in this world we use today are the outcomes of IP. All of us have abundant intellectual property. We hardly realize it but it is always with us. Whatever we eat, whatever we wear, wherever we go or whatever we use all constitute one or the other form of intellectual property. The only mistake with us is the lack of perception to feel that IP is everywhere in this world and that we encounter IP in every walk of our daily life.
Human mind is the place where intellectual property is cultivated. It is generated as a result of creation of the mind as a cognitive process of thought while reading, writing, observing experiencing, experimenting, working, listening, and sensation. Rights on substantial or thematic part of new creative knowledge is industrial property such as patent, design, trademark, geographical indications and trade secrets whereas the artistic parts of knowledge is copyright, such as on literary, artistic and scientific works, musical works dramatic works, performing arts audio-visual recordings belong to copyright and related rights. Industrial property is largely related to the brain and copyright to the heart. Both the categories are jointly called intellectual property.
Intellectual property is much more valuable and powerful than physical property because of its peculiar qualities that are quite outstanding and unique. First, it is invisible. Though a book looks visible, the part of knowledge derived from it is invisible. Second, it is a power of competitiveness of an industrial product, for example, consumers select goods in the market with the help of trademarks. Like-wise patent improves the product as well as production process. Third, it requires almost no room for storage for example information of thousands of books in a library can be stored in small micro-chips. Fourth, it ensures quick and cost effective transportation as huge volume of materials are passed from one place in the globe to another as soon as a finger tips pushes computer buttons. Imagine how much would have a physical property cost for transportation and how long would it have taken to reach the destination.
Fifth, it is largely a private property though there might be possibility of it becoming a community property in very few cases, but hardly a public property .That is why it constitutes a fantastic power of capital formation. Sixth it constitutes dual value- the first is its own value and the next is the added value of physical property where that IP is applied. Seventh it can be used by multiple users simultaneously in contrast to
the physical property which often is used by only
one person. Eighth, It
constitutes a tendency to multiply at a very fast
rate than the physical property. Information contained in patent information
can give rise to several ideas to generate new information and new patents. Last but not the least, several forms of IPs play a synergic role to create value of a particular industrial product. All these peculiarities of IP are really the magic of value creation
Let us now decide and take actions—shall we use IP for socio-economic and cultural development? If yes, should we build a national IP office and sustainable IP system? If yes, should we create a conducive environment for the creation of IP? And, if yes, should we honor and protect the IP rights of creators and innovators? The ball is in our court, we can either choose to win, or lose.
Poudyal is an advocate