Monday, June 21, 2021

World Intellectual Property Day: What sets Humans apart in the Cosmos?

On 26th April, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated to mark the importance of intellectual property rights which is helping in protecting and encouraging innovation & creativity across the globe.

The ability that has made Humans Stand out in Nature – INTELLECT

American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky once said “If you think that humans alone have unlimited cognitive powers – setting us apart from all other animals – you have not fully digested Darwin’s insight that Homo Sapiens is very much part of the natural world”. This statement creates a paradox yet it perfectly defines the relation between humans and nature.

Humans are part of nature but one thing that has put Homo Sapiens apart from nature is INTELLECT. The human brain was not evolved to discover its origin and why it existed but still, we managed to do that. And the sole reason behind this was the ability to understand and innovate with the set of skills that humans acquired by experimenting with time and nature.

From discovering Fire to Agriculture, from innovating Wheels to Steam Engines, and our current scientific and technological advancement in different sectors. The entire journey that humans have fueled with their imagination and creativity has changed the course of Planet earth in no time if we consider it at a cosmic level.

What is Intellectual Property?

An Intellectual Property is a non-physical property that is the result of innovation and creativity. It can also be referred to as Inventions, Innovative designs, and Products of human creativity. Identifiers of organizations or their products & services or Unique products that have a geographical attribute falls under Intellectual property.

According to the global forum for intellectual property, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), ‘Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

The rights given to an individual over the creations of their brain are known as Intellectual Property Rights. The rights provide the creator an exclusive authority for the use of their creation for a specific period.

However, the right is just not that the creator will exclude others to use, sell or produce that innovation. Intellectual Property Rights also provide the creators with the right to assign or license the rights of the innovation for commercial or other bonafide uses.

There are different types of Intellectual Property rights, the three most important rights are:

Patent: A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem

Copyright: Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from programs, books, sculpture, music, maps, and films, to computer, databases, advertisements, paintings, and technical drawings

Trademark: It means that a mark is capable of being represented graphically and which can differ the goods and services of an individual or organization from others. A common example of this is a logo. This also includes their packaging, combination of colors, and shape of goods.

Recent developments in IPR Laws in India

Amendments were made in copyright law in 2012 to improve the law and its effective implementation. The Indian Patent Office released guidelines to the issuance of pharmaceutical patents in 2014. The government has also brought key changes to the Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure (2019). Several things have been changed under social media also.

The Government has also approved Patent Prosecution Highway Program – Measure to Expedite Patent Examination in India. In other developments, DRDO has granted free patent access to boost indigenous production.

Intellectual property rights recognized in India are:

– The Patents Act, 1970;
– The Trade Marks Act, 1999;
– The Copyright Act, 1957;
– The Designs Act, 2000;
– The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999;
– The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000;
– The Biological Diversity Act, 2002;
– The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001

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