What is Intellectual Property?


To some extent, you may already know the answer to this question. We know that the inventor of a machine, the author of a book, or the composer of music holds a right to their own work. Therefore, there are consequences if one attempts to copy or purchase a copy of works without considering the intellectual property rights of the owner. Additionally, industrial designs (e.g., furniture, wallpaper, etc.) constitute intellectual property rights and are held by an individual or organization.

Every time we purchase such “protected products,” a portion of the payment goes to the owner of the good/work as a reward for the time, money, and effort invested in creating the work. This has helped over the years in the development of industries, such as the global music industry, and encouraged new talents to produce more original ideas and articles.

To better understand the field of intellectual property, we need to consider the most important aspect: the word “property.” The remarkable characteristic of the owner of intellectual property rights is that they are free to use their good/work/creation as they wish, provided that their use does not violate the law, and they can prevent others from using it.

Concerning the term “intellectual property,” it is reserved for all types of property resulting from creations of the human mind, intellect. For various administrative and historical reasons, intellectual property is divided into the following main categories:

  1. Literary, artistic, and scientific works (e.g., books). The protection granted to these intellectual property rights is governed by copyright law.
  2. Performances, stage representations (e.g., concerts). The protection granted to these intellectual property rights is governed by copyright law and related rights.
  3. Inventions (e.g., a new form of jet engine). The protection of inventions is regulated by patent law.
  4. Industrial designs (e.g., the shape of a beverage bottle). Industrial designs are protected by industrial property law, specifically laws related to industrial designs.
  5. Trademarks, service marks, trade names (e.g., logos or names for a product with a unique geographical origin, such as Champagne). The protection of trademarks is governed by industrial property law, trademark law, and geographical indications law.

The importance of intellectual property can be divided into two essential components: the economic benefits enjoyed by the owner of intellectual property rights and the encouragement of individuals or companies to invest in creation.

By protecting intellectual property rights, the author or owner of the property right has the guarantee of the recognition of their work for an extended period, the due respect, and the ability to prohibit and prevent the use of their property right without prior consent.

Without the protection of intellectual property rights in the field of inventions, society would face economic losses generated by the free use of the invention by their competitors.

Without the protection of a trademark, a brand will fail to build lasting “brand loyalty” and construct a successful brand.

Without the protection granted through IP laws and treaties, companies in the pharmaceutical industry simply would not make an effort to experiment in the search for new medicines/products for health. As you can see from these brief examples, without the presented protection, humanity would no longer be able to develop in any field.

Author: Intellectual Property Counselor Adina Țimonea.

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