THE CONCEPT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENTS
ATIN KUMAR DAS, LL.M II YEAR, NATIONAL LAW INSTITUTE UNIVERSITY, BHOPAL.
The concept of Intellectual Property is define in general is that the important feature of property is that the proprietor or owner may use his property as he wishes and that nobody else can lawfully use his property without his authorization. Of course there are certain recognized limits for the exercise of that right.
The term intellectual property includes, in the broadest sense, all rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientifically, literary, or artistic fields. The conventions establishing the WIPO defines ‘Intellectual Property’ in a broad sense .But the term Intellectual Property is define first time in Paris Convention.
Intellectual Property is derived from the term Industrial Property which includes trademarks, design marks, service marks, commercial names and designations, including indications of source and appellations of origin, and the protection against unfair competition. The main objectives of Paris Convention provides that “the protection of industrial property like patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks and the repression of unfair competition”. But in the WIPO defines it broadly and intellectual property shall include the right relating to:
i. Literary, artistic and scientific works;
ii. Performance of performing artists;
iii. Inventions in all fields of human endeavour;
iv. Scientific discoveries;
v. Industrial designs;
vi. Trademarks, service marks and etc;
vii. Protection against unfair competition.
This definition although inclusive in nature, is very comprehensive.
As we know that the intellectual property is intangible. It is a new form of property which got greater recognition only in the 18th century. The Intellectual Property is a property in mental labour as distinguished from physical labour. Therefore the Intellectual Property is to be understood as a result of mental labour in contradistinction with purely physical labour. It is mostly intangible in nature.
Now the question is raised that why the concept of Intellectual Property is so much important in this 21st century?
In fact Intellectual Property has acquired greater recognition in international law compared to municipal laws. In today’s world, the international dimension of intellectual property is of ever increasing importance for three compelling reasons. First the composition of world trade is changing. Currently, commerce in intellectual property has become an ever greater component of trade between nations. The value of information products has been enhanced greatly by the new technologies of the semi conductor chip, computer software and bio technology. Second, the world commerce has become even more interdependent, establishing a need for international co- operation. No longer can a single country impose its economic will on the rest of the world. Accordingly, countries have recognized this interdependence and have called for a broadening of international agreements/arrangements involving Intellectual Property third, new reprographic and information storage technologies permit unauthorized copying to take place faster and more efficiently than ever, undermining the creator’s work.
The main aim of the intellectual property is predominantly recognized in the commercial world to protect the interest of mercantile community. And create monopolies and vest the same in the inventors who can use the economic of scale to maximize his return. Therefore Intellectual Property Right is a means of just enrichment of the owner.
The main objects of Paris Convention Relating to Protection of Intellectual property Rights:
The Paris Convention originated from the first International Patent Congress, which took place in Vienna in 1873. On March 20, 1883, the Paris union was concluded and signed by 11 states. Its objectives were to secure legal protection for industrial property and to encourage uniformity of law. At this time, there are 11 special agreements under the Paris union administered by the International Bureau of WIPO. They cover the full range of intellectual property: trademarks (e.g., the Madrid Agreement), patents (e.g., the Patent Cooperation Treaty), or etc.
It includes the repression of unfair competition among the objects of the protection of industrial property; the said convention states that any act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial and commercial matters constitutes an act of unfair competition. And we are already discussed that the term Intellectual Property is derived or taken from the Industrial Property because the properties has some industrial applications so the patents ,trademarks, design marks or etc are included into the new term Intellectual Property. Now the Intellectual Property is also known as Umbrella rights.
The days are changing fast and the material based society is changing into a knowledge based society. It is in the context that the Intellectual Property would play a very important role in the coming generations. We are already discussed that now the term Intellectual Property is used very widely and it is now be known as umbrella rights because it is mostly intangible in nature. The objects of intellectual property are the creations of the human mind, the human intellect. This is why this kind of property is called “intellectual” property.