Importance Of Registration Of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Right is a vast term and encompasses a lot of little things without our knowledge even in our daily lives. Be it the phone you hold or the soap the use; everything has IP hidden in it. Now, to introduce you to the basics of it, we would discuss about Copyrights, Trademarks and Designs or as popularly put in Intellectual property terms; Industrial designs herein.

When we talk of copyright, it is termed as the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the original author or composer for a lifetime of the author plus sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. The rights include the right to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary work including software, artistic work, or musical work. The creator of an original work also owns the exclusive rights to its use and distribution. The copyright law grants certain rights that reside with the owner exclusively. They include:

  • the right to reproduce the work

  • to prepare derivative works

  • to distribute copies

  • to perform the work

  • and to display the work publicly

If we talk about registering your work, copyright registration can be made at any time within the life of the copyright. This provides you an edge over the unregistered material legally and the law acknowledges you as the legal owner of the copyrighted material, it also establishes a public record of the copyright claim. There are many other benefits which the owner has if the copyright is registered like; in case of an infringement suit may be filed in court, copyright registration is necessary.
If made within or before five years of publication, copyright registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in that particular certificate.
If copyright registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in case of any court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner. Registration also provides notice to everyone that you own the copyright, making it harder for infringers to flaunt the argument in court that they infringed “innocently,” as it has been seen happening in many cases.

Trademark, as it is popularly defined, is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. It helps consumers identify and purchase a product or service because of its nature and quality, as indicated by its unique trademark. According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), nearly all countries in the world register and protect trademarks. Each national or regional office maintains a ‘Register of Trademarks’ which contains full application information on all registrations and renewals, facilitating examination, search and potential opposition by third parties.

Many people assume they can protect their trademark simply by using the mark in commerce. Though true that you are not required to register a trademark to achieve some level of protection and that one establishes common law rights just by using a mark in commerce. Nevertheless, it is always beneficial to register trademarks as it provides greater protection as trademark owner receives sole ownership of the mark. This also decreases the likelihood of another party claiming that your trademark infringes upon their trademark or vice versa. Trademark registration dissuades others from using your trademark and also increases the likelihood of successful filing of a dispute resolution policy for an infringing internet domain name. This and many more makes you the authorized owner of the mark in the entire arena of legal security. Now for the life of a registered trademark, it can be renewed for lifetime after every 10 years.

Famous trademarks have clearly exhibited a powerful connection with the minds of consumers over time with a specific product or service and the originator of such a product or service. Examples of famous trademarks are Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Apple, Nike, McDonalds and KFC. Owners of famous trademarks had to take extra steps to protect against the weakening of their trademarks as the result of wide spread use of the marks. A third party may attempt to dilute strength of a well-known trademark by means of generalization or by means of causing confusion in public.

As it goes for Copyrights and trademarks, same is applied to Design or Industrial design. Designs also form a very integral part of corporate world and so does comes the fear of design theft in one form or the other; this is why it is covered under intellectual property. An industrial design renders an object attraction and appeal, thus adding to its commercial value. The design may be three-dimensional based on the shape or surface of the object, or two-dimensional based on the object’s patterns, lines or colors.

Industrial designs are applied to a variety of products of industry which range from packages and containers to furnishing, lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs can also be related to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI) and logos. The life of a registered design in India is initially ten years from the date of registration.

A registered design has many advantages as owner of a registered industrial design or of a design patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or looks like a copy, of the protected design, especially when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes. Registered owner of the design has the:

  • Exclusive right to use that particular design

  • Exclusive right to grant authorization to other people to use the design

The famous Apple and Samsung court case regarding design regarding of the iPad is a landmark case which goes into the intricacies of registering a design. Now, you very well know how important can it get it get registration for your Intellectual property like Designs, Trademarks and Copyrights. It certainly adds on that added security factor to your set of IP services.

We’d love to hear from you and make you an active part of our blog, so let us know what your opinion on our write-up is. Also do let us know, anything you’d like to read further, we’d be glad to provide you the information you require.