Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, designs and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
A patent is a grant of exclusive rights for an invention to make, use and sell the invention for a limited period of 20 years. In order to be patentable an invention should have the following characteristics:
- The invention should be a process or product.
- The invention should be novel or new (globally).
- It should involve an inventive step.
- It should be capable of industrial application.
A design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. Designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft:
- Technical and medical instruments.
- Watches, jewellery, other luxury items.
- From house wares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures.
- From textile designs to leisure goods.
- An industrial design does not relate to the technical features of an article.
Layout of Integrated Circuits
Integrated Circuit means a product, in its final form or an intermediate form, in which the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally formed in and/or on a piece of material and which is intended to perform an electronic function.
Copyright is a legal instrument that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. Copyright includes the following creative works:
Literary works including computer programmes / software, books, magazines, journals, lectures, dramas, novels and compilation of data etc.
- Artistic works including paintings, Maps, photographs, drawings, Charts, Calligraphies, Sculptures, Architectural Works, Label Designs, Logos, Monograms etc.
- Cinematographic works which includes movies, audio-visual works, documentaries etc.
- Record works which include sound recordings, musical works etc.
A Trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.