Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Understanding Different Types Of Intellectual Property

By Mary Diaz

Property does not just comprise of tangible things like homes, cars, furniture, currency, investments etc and such assets are not the only kind that can be safeguarded by law. There are various other forms of non-material property known as intellectual property that have been recognized under the law and granted protection against misuse. There are three primary types of property which come under this classification: copyrights, trademarks and patents.

Copyrights are intellectual property dealing with rights of an author or an artist over his or her original creation. This right may be awarded for music, films, videos and other forms of artistic expressions and not only the literary or published material. The copyright bestows the sole right of ownership over the work in question besides rights to get monetary benefits resulting from the work.

On the other hand, trademarks accord the person who has registered it, the protection over certain graphical representations, text or marks which point to the creator or source of products to thwart replication and misuse. They protect the trademark owners from being financially exploited by unscrupulous elements.

The last intellectual property right is a patent, which is bestowed upon inventors to protect their original and useful creations and inventions. A patent is valid for a predefined period and allows the holder sole right to use and commercially exploit his or her invention.

There are some more intellectual property rights too which are rarely registered and used. Understanding carried forward from generation to generation in a specific sect; exclusive and secret components or recipes which go into creating popular products like Coca Cola; and geographical position based descriptions, which refer to certain products like Champagne, are some examples of this type of intellectual property.

While all the three types of intellectual property mentioned above are distinct from each other there are also some similarities. All of these are protected within the legal framework and the rightful owners can take legal action in a court of law and claim reparation in case of any infringement.

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