The objective of this article is to enlighten readers about the nuances surrounding intellectual property rights (hereinafter referred as IPR). The article will further answer questions relating to what IPR lawyers do? How can a common citizen go about when their IPR’s are violated?
What is IP?
As the name suggests, intellectual property refers to the invention of the mind. It is your own personal intellectual creation. Examples: songs, novels, brands, ranging from any artistic works to your own unique idea that comes to you intellectually is your own intellectual property and nobody by law has the right to steal, use or tamper that idea or property belonging to you because when you own an idea, it solely belong to “you” and only YOU, and that makes you the sole owner of such property.
Illustration: “A” owns a land, unless “A” sells the land to someone or keeps it for rent or lease, that land will be under “A’s” sole ownership and anyone using A’s land without his prior permission can be sued and further be prevented from using the land in any manner whatsoever. “A” as an owner can also get compensated for any damages incurred. Hence, you can understand why it is a need of the hour to not only understand what your Intellectual Property Rights are but to also know how to constructively monopolize your Intellectual Property.
Intellectual Properties are protected by law. Globally, below are the two Conventions that have been signed regarding IPR.
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883), and
- This Convention includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications, and the repression of unfair competition. This international agreement helps creators to ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries.
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886)
- This Convention deals with protection of works and the rights of authors, musicians, poets, painters etc. it contains of provisions that are concerned with: controlling how the works of such creators are used, by whom and on what terms, minimum protection grated by the Convention and special provisions available to developing countries that want to make use of these rules.
- Section 8 of US Constitution
- Patent Act of 1952
- Trademarks Act of 1946 also known as (Lanham Act)
- Economic Espionage Act of 1996
- Theft of Traders Secrets Clarification Act of 2012
“Because the laws mentioned above only protect IP rights in the United States, IP owners must file for protections in every country where protection is desired. The U.S. government has joined a number of free trade agreements that protect IP rights among signatories. Additionally, there are some large, multilateral agreements that create temporary protections or ease the process of filing for patents and copyrights in multiple countries. These treaties include:
- The Patent Cooperation Treaty,
- The Madrid Protocol, and the
- World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).”
Federal law of the United States
- Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act of 2008.
- This law increases civil and criminal penalties in IP theft cases. The IPEC’s role is to coordinate the federal response in combating violations of IP rights.
What do IP lawyer’s do?
IP lawyers play a perilous role in shielding Intellectual Property Rights of an individual. Following are the main tasks at hand for an IP lawyer:
“They act as an attorney, represent clients in court proceedings, they also counsel clients about intellectual property matters. IP lawyers spend most of their time reviewing and producing documents, and, have the painstaking tasks of completing assessments on highly technical materials.
Common task for an IP lawyers is to prepare documents that needs to be filed for patents or trademarks, and then working with patent and trademark offices in the U.S. and around the world to attain those patents and trademarks. Another is representing a person or organization in dealings with others who are making unfair use of intellectual property. That may be as simple as composing a formal letter citing ownership of intellectual property and pointing out that it may not be used without permission. Or it may be as complex as filing a lawsuit and, if a settlement is not reached, going to court to resolve the matter.”
“In cases where a client has already invested his time and money, and a prior use in a similar industry is found, discussions with a client might include modifying or even abandoning the client’s mark. In the event of patent counseling, the lawyer must have a technical background in order to best understand the client’s patent and to assess its validity or likelihood of patent infringement. Other components of practice may include licensing, due diligence in connection with mergers or acquisitions, and developing strategies for international and domestic intellectual property protection, Skills that are helpful for lawyers in the IP area are communication skills-both written and oral, negotiation skills, and business acumen. Intellectual property law frequently has domestic and international considerations.”
Intellectual Properties are intangible. Every business and an innovator are expected to protect their ideas from being infringed and to make sure that there are always opportunities for creativity to be expanded. IP lawyers are very diverse, and each diverse IP lawyer’s common responsibility is to keep potential catastrophes away from owners and innovators. This can happen only when corporations take duly care and are educated regarding knowledge and violation about IPR. It is important that IPR’s are not violated and used illegally. The obligation rests on an IP lawyer to protect interest of his clients and assist in lawsuits regarding IP infringements.
If you have created or obtained the rights to something unique, an intellectual property attorney can help you protect your interests. On the Contrary, if someone has accused you of infringement, you want legal counsel to help you fight back. Contact an attorney today to learn more.
 https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/paris/ https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/ https://www.americanbar.org/groups/intellectual_property_law/publications/landslide/2013-14/may-june/protecting-intellectual-property-nations-economic-security/  Ibid.  https://www.nesl.edu/blog/detail/everything-you-need-to-know-about-becoming-an-intellectual-property-(ip)-lawyer  https://www.law.georgetown.edu/your-life-career/career-exploration-professional-development/for-jd-students/explore-legal-careers/practice-areas/intellectual-property-law/