An Introduction to IP
Due to continuous risk of material goods to be destroyed or lost, many forms of protection comprising the methods of hiding, closing, monitoring and keeping, as well as a corresponding system of legal protection of material property, have been developed during the history of human civilization.
Products of human mind are non-material goods, the value of which lies in their reproduction, use and presentation to other people, so they cannot be protected by hiding, closing, or other measures of physical protection. To protect these kind of goods and thus to encourage human creativity that contributes to general social development a corresponding system of legal protection of intellectual property has been developed.
Unauthorized use or reproduction of the subject matter of intellectual property represent infringement of the rights, while the right of the owner to dispose of it, use it, and benefit from it is protected by the means and institutions of the legal system.
Intellectual property comprises copyright and related rights, and industrial property rights.
Copyright is the exclusive right of authors to dispose of their literary, scientific or artistic works, and works covering other fields of creativity; related rights relate similarly to the rights of performers, the producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations;
Industrial property comprises the rights by which manufacturers protect from competitors their business interests, their position on the market and their investments in research, development and promotion.
Particular aspects or characteristics of a product may be protected by one or several different forms of intellectual property, supplementing each other. The new solution of a technical problem is protected by a patent, the new outer shape or appearance of a product is protected by an industrial design, and a sign serving to distinguish products or services from similar products and/or services on the market is protected by a trademark.
The results of intellectual creativity can be protected by the corresponding forms of intellectual property, depending on the field of the activity as concerned:
Copyright and related rights
- Copyright - literary works (written works, oral works, computer programs), musical works, dramatic or dramatic-musical works, choreographic works and works of pantomime, works of visual art (in the field of painting, sculpture, and graphics), works of applied art, photographic works, cinematographic works, translations, adaptations, arrangements and other alterations of works, collections of copyright work, data or other materials
- Related rights - performances, phonograms, broadcasts
Getting a license for reproduction
Acquiring a licence for reproduction of copyrighted works and other protected subject matter is in domain of private contractual relationships. General rule is that before using copyrighted works for business and professional purposes, users have to regulate the rights with copyright owners (rightsholders) or their representatives, by means of a contract or a licence.