Intellectual Property Rights

Introduction

Intellectual property refers to any creation of mind; such as every great expression and wonderful products that have a human origin (Bainbridge, 2009). Individual’s creative expressions and innovations have some good value and therefore the need to protect them; indeed, work of art, music, writing, film making, symbols, names and videos among others all have human inventors (Giannakas, 2002).

To curb and prevent other people from copying or duplicating ones hard work without any permission or credit to it, then protection against such conduct must be put in place through use of intellectual property laws (benedict.com, 2011). However, due to globalization, there has been increased use of internet which has resulted to violation of intellectual property rights through increased cases of infringements. For instance, the increased use of internet around the world to acquire information has completely distorted peoples opinion in regard to copying and piracy.

This is because some individual see this as infringement of intellectual property law, while others view it as a way of copying and redistributing materials (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009). As a result it can be argued that, students and writers who take other peoples material either from online or published document like books without crediting the sources and proper referencing are benefiting from intellectual properties of others which is illegal according to the law (Benedict.com., 2011).

According to the intellectual law there is correct way for students and other writers to make proper referencing of the materials which they have used either for academic presentation or personal use.

Intellectual Property Law

The intellectual property commonly abbreviated as ‘IP’ has three major areas, namely; trademarks, patents and copyrights (Benedict.com, 2011). The category of law that protect against illegal use of intellect property is known as patent law which is almost found in any manufactured goods and products.. These laws are meant to nature and encourage innovations among inventors by giving them complete protection of their original work from any form of infringement such as duplication and piracy among others. The enacting of these laws involves procedures of signing an agreement between the inventors and the authority of a given region or state that is responsible for regulating copyrights.

The inventor who is seeking protection of the particular items must fully disclose all the details of the invention made in order to receive the enforceable rights that will ensure protection of any other person or people from using or even selling such invention (Terrence, 2000).

However, for any invention to be patentable it must certify certain conditions which include; to be non-obvious, be applicable, useful, and novel (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009). To be novel implies that, the invention is new and has not been invented before by others, usefulness implies that the invention has to direct or indirect benefits the society in addition to being of industrial use (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009). Therefore any invention that meets these standards is guaranteed protection rights even though these rights do not exist for a life time; they only exist for a given period of time which is approximately twenty years and after expiry of the stipulated time, the license also expires meaning that the invention is now available for public domain and can be used freely by anyone.

Case study Section 1

In this case study, there are several issues which must be looked into both by Adam and Eve “Ebid” and the Garry-M company. Foremost, Garry-M Company should confirm that the work that has been infringed is very similar in all aspects including designs, content and even structure and it is not just a similar idea and concept (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009). If this is the case, then the Garry-M company should proceed and lodge a copyright infringement case in which they will claim that their work has been copied. In this case by some people through auctioning of products which have an outlook, logo, and names similar to theirs; this is rightly known as infringement of intellectual property rights (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009).

In addition, Garry-M company should be able to clearly achieve the following: foremost, they should gather enough evidence before they file a case against the infringer. In fact, the strength and success of their case will very much depend on the quality of the evidence that will be available. Besides this, Garry-M company should have the copied work and their original work as well for comparison purposes so as to look extensively for any unique duplication of their work from the copied copy (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009).

The next steep, should be to make a print of the registered copy and match against the duplicated work. The Garry-M company should readily make available their registration certificates and any letter which refers to the work before infringement was discovered. Also very important, they should have a rough draft or sketch of the original copy which will represent the development and evolution of ideas to produce the original work (Fishman, 2008). Arguably, since the infringement has been done online, the Garry-M company should inform the service provider which in this case is ‘Ebid’ auctioneer and let them know of the infringement incidences.

Thereafter the next step will involve Garry-M Company contacting the infringer via a letter clearly outlining their objectives (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009).Such a letter should contain: name of the work that has been infringed, reason as to why the work is an infringement, a quote stating that the act is unacceptable and must be stopped, also state clearly the kind of action to be taken in resolving the conflict, specify deadline for the conditions and so on (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2009). The letter should also specify the resulting consequences of failure to abide and comply with the requirements.

According to copyright laws infringement is illegal and is punishable by law which means that “Ebid” and Garry-M company can coordinate to align those who are selling those products. Since the “Ebid” auctioneer is the owner of the site where these products are being sold; it is their responsibility to trace and find the perpetrators. If this people are actually brought forward, Garry-M Company should file a case against them.

However, before it gets to that point, it is advisable that the involved parties first resort to mediations; that means that Garry-M Company and the infringer may decide to settle this issue outside the court. In the event that the mediations between the two involved parties fails and the settlement of the conflict is not done within the deadline time of about 28 days, then Garry-M company should present the evidence to their lawyers or contact the Business Advice Centre (BAC) for prosecution to take place (Benedict.com, 2009).

At this point, the legal proceeding may be initiated in the law court. Through the legal process the infringer against Garry-M Company may be ordered to immediately stop the infringing act, make public apologies to Garry-M Company, or pay the damage caused by the infringement acts which include paying of money lost from sales as a result of the counterfeit goods. Again, alternative actions can be taken against the infringer through the application of administrative measures which views the violation of the intellectual property rights as criminal offence. The measures taken include: orders to stop the infringing acts immediately, fining of the infringer, confiscation of the illegal gains, and compensation of damage incurred.

Case study Section 2

Garry-M Company has recently developed and launched a new scent product as such there is need to protect this intellect property from infringement by its competitors. I suggest that Garry-M Company go a mile further in order to ensure that their unique scent is not produced by any other company which means that they need to put in place mechanisms of protecting this product. In order to get the process initiated and ensure full protection for their original work there are several procedures which must be followed by Garry-M company in order to safe guard duplication of its product.

Foremost, Garry-M Company must ensure that the new product is properly marked in order to curb infringement. Proper marking of any work is an essential step towards its protection and is a direct way of saying that, the company or the firm is fully aware about copyright and infringement risks.

It also implies that this particular work is subject to protection against infringement by the law. The second step that it should undertake is registration of its product; this involves complete registration of the original work by the inventor which is sort of patenting the product. In this case Garry-M Company should ensure that it have fully registered their original work which is the new scent as well as it unique packaging. Registration of any original work is a vital step since it acts as an evidence to support the company rights incase their work is duplicated or infringed (Protectionofwork.co.uk, 2009).

The third step also involves registration of the supporting evidence which can be divided into two categories: the evolution of ideas and watermarking. The evolution of ideas is represented by any sketch or rough recording of the work; in this case the firm may be required to present this kind of drafts so as to demonstrate that the work is really its original creation which has been made from the scratch and it has not just been copied.

While watermarking involves presenting of any evidence which should be unique and which can be used for identifications (Protectionofwork.co.uk, 2009). However, the watermark must not be easily seen, it is recommended that it must be hidden. Lastly, if the work is a joint venture, then the company and the other partners should be able to come to an agreement about ownership of this work. In case they part ways they should be able to clearly outline who will own the rights on the product or how such rights will be appropriated.

Protection of Logos and Trademark

Garry-M Company has also branched out to manufacture of new designer clothes for women. In fact, to ensure that they can claim the new designs as their own creation, I suggest that they attach on them a small logo named “GARRY-M” which will be put in all their designed clothes. In order to ensure protection of the new brand of designer clothes and the logo, then Garry- M Company should fully comply with the intellectual property laws governing such products and their logos (Bainbridge, 2009).

Protection of logos fall under one major branch of the intellectual property referred as the trademark law. This law describes that, a trademark is anything that can be used in differentiating and indentifying the products of one owner from another. Trademark mostly include; symbol, sound, name, and logos among others (Bainbridge, 2009). Therefore, Trademarks are very essential business tools whose function is an instrument that establishes Company products and prevents their infringement (Protectionoflogo. 2009).

A logo just like that of Garry-M Company, is subject to copyright laws since it includes artistic work and other design elements; for this reason the copyright act also protects the logos, and therefore, any mark that is distinctive is eligible for registration (Fishman, 2008). However, the degree on which the logos and trademarks are accorded protection matters; marks that are inherently very distinct are awarded more protection while those that are less distinctive are awarded less or little protection. An example in this category would include those marks that are merely names of individuals such as CARSON’S products.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Infringement of the intellectual property is a problem that must be addressed in a comprehensive way so as to empower inventors and encourage more innovations and unique creations (Giannakas, 2002). Infringement is very rampant and therefore there is greater need to look into ways of curbing this negative behavior. In today’s world where technology has advanced, people are making and creating new innovations and wonderful ideas every day. However, due to advancement of technology, infringement has also increased spurred by the use of internet which has become global thing especially since it enables sharing of materials and ideas.

The modern world has become a global village where individuals, institutions and organization are having easy access to information and other resourceful materials via internet. This availability of information online has brought about increase of activities like plagiarism, piracy, and duplication of other people’s ideas and creations (GAO. 2001). In my opinion, there is need for sanctions and tough actions to be taken against those people who will be found engaging in these acts of infringement. Website owners and users should be given restriction in the manner they acquire and use material over the internet.

This is because infringement has negative impact to individuals and companies as well. Pirated work for instance of an individual such as music and art causes an individual to lose a lot of sales due to the illegal sale and distribution of their work which ends up benefiting other parties. The same case applies to big firms which also lose billions of money every year due to infringement activities.

In summary therefore, infringement of intellectual work causes stagnation in development and has negative impact on growth of countries in general. Therefore, there should be a global campaign against infringements acts all over the world that involve all involved stakeholders for the world to achieve positive developments.

Reference

Bainbridge, D. 2009. Intellectual Property. New Jersey: Pearson Logman Press.

Benedict. 2011. Patent, trademark and copyright. Web.

Craig,D & Bagley, C. 2008. The entrepreneurs guide to business law. Stanford: Cengage Learning publishers.

Fishman, S. 2008. The copyright handbook: what every writer needs to know. New York. Nolo publishers.

GAO. 2001. Intellectual property state immunity in infringement actions. New York : Diane publishers.

Giannakas ,K. 2002. Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights: Causes and Consequences. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 84(2): pp 482-494.

Terrence, P. 2000. Intellectual property law: damages and remedies. New York: Journal press.

Copyrightservice. 2009. Copyright infringement. Web.

Protectionoflogo. 2009. Protection of logo. Web.

Protectionofwork. 2009. Protection of work. Web.