Intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) means the legal rights which are coming from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. The countries use laws to protect intellectual property for two main reason.

  1. moral and economic rights of creators in their creations and the public in access to those creations
  2. promote: creativity, dissemination and application of the creations, encourage fair trading. All together contribute to economic and social development 1)


Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind. It is divided into two broad categories:

  1. Industrial property, which includes:
    • Patents for inventions
    • Trademarks
    • Industrial designs
    • Geographical indications
  2. Copyright and related rights, which cover:
    • Literary and artistic expressions (e.g., books, films, music, architecture, art)
    • The rights of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms (as well as MP3 files and music on the Internet) in their recordings, and broadcasters in their radio and television broadcasts

The IP system provides a way for these intangible assets to be owned, disseminated and traded, thus enabling creators or owners of IP rights to reap some benefit from their own work or from their investment in a creation. 2)

Field of IP Protection


Main article: Patent

A patent is the right granted by the State to an inventor to exclude others from commercially expoiting the invention for a limited period, in return for the disclosure of the invention, so that others may gain the benefit of the invention. The disclosure of the invention is thus an important consideration in any patent granting procedure. 3)

Main article: Copyright

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. 4)


Main article: Trademarks

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol and/or sign which identifies and distinguish your goods and service from those of your competitors. It can be for example words, logos or a combination of both. 5) 6)

Industrial design rights

Main article: Industrial Designs

An industrial design is the decorative or aesthetic aspect of an article. The appearance can have three-dimensional features like the shape or surface of an article, or the two-dimensional features, like patterns, lines or color.

Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft: from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items; from housewares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures; from textile designs to leisure goods.

To be protected under most national laws, an industrial design must be new and/or original. Novelty or originality is determined with respect to the existing design corpus. An industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature, and does not protect any technical features of the article to which it is applied. 7)

Geographical Indications

Main article: Geographical Indications

A geographical indication is a sign of a product which is associated in the world with their geographical origin with the process how it is produced with the quality of the product - in general speaking with the reputation and the characteristic that are essentially attributed to that place of origin. For example:

  • “Champagne”
  • “Cognac”
  • “Chianti”
  • “Pilsen”
  • “Havana”
  • “Tequila”

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property does not contain the notion of geographical indication.

  1. indications of source

means any expression or sign used to indicate that a product or service originates in a country, a region or a specific place.

  1. appellations of origin

means the geographical name of a country, region or specific place which serves to designate a product originating therein the characteristic qualities of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural or human factors or borh natural and human factors.

The term “geographical indication” has been chosen by WIPO to describe the subject matter of a new treaty for the international protection of names and symbols which indicate a certain geographical origin of a given product. 8)

1) WIPO, Intellectual Property Handbook, WIPO Publication No 489 (E), Second Edition, 2004, Chapter 1, Page 3
2) International Bureau of WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): General Information, WIPO Pub. No 1007E11 (published annually)
3) WIPO, Intellectual Property Handbook, WIPO Publication No 489 (E), Second Edition, 2004, Chapter 2, Page 17
8) WIPO, Intellectual Property Handbook, WIPO Publication No 489 (E), Second Edition, 2004, Chapter 2, Page 120 ff.
legal/intellectual_property.txt · Last modified: 2013/05/26 08:46 by dunsim
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