Intellectual property rights issues are problems that can come up when work of any kind is being copied or imitated without proper authorization from the original creator of the work. The issue of protecting the work of inventors, artists, and other creative individuals has been a hotly contested topic for many years and the laws have changed over time. 

What Are Intellectual Property Rights Issues?

As the internet and other information technologies have continued to develop a once uninteresting topic like intellectual property law has become an international and popular issue for debate. 

Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are the rules and regulations surrounding the ownership of a work or idea. Different types of works, inventions, and even processes are owned by individuals and companies, and IPRs work to make sure that such works are not copied or imitated unlawfully. 

Intellectual Property Rights Issues and the Economy

Intellectual property rights have become more and more complicated because of the new economic situation our world is in. What has been at times a static global economy is now one that encourages continuous innovation, knowledge, and growth. 

Before this new global economic shift, there was more motivation to keep physical properties safe than intellectual properties. Physical property can be easier to protect in some ways because a physical object can only be in the possession of one individual at a time. 

Intellectual property poses a challenge because the creators want their works to be available to many consumers, but also want to keep them protected. If one person is listening to a song, another person in a different country can listen to the same song at the same time.

New creations, ideas, and inventions are good for a bustling economy, so there is motivation for the government to provide protection for the companies and individuals who create such works. Inventors might be less inclined to invent and creators less motivated to create if they don't feel that they'll retain rights or ownership over their works. 

Certain inventions can be very expensive to develop, so there's arguably even more need for the protection of such inventions like:

  • Computer software.
  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Movies.
  • Songs.

Advancing innovation in technology makes it easier to duplicate different types of works, so IP (intellectual property) protection is going to continue to get more complex. It's also become easier to distribute and circulate works without proper payment to the creator, which can lead to patent infringement lawsuits

Software Patent Examples

Countries like Japan and the United States are working ahead of others to protect computer software with patents, and this is a direction the whole world is heading in. Some believe that if we patent software, the innovations and improvements in the information technology world will be negatively affected. Some companies believe that protecting their software creations, processes, and inventions is necessary to remain competitive in the marketplace. 

Some newer computer software companies are actually handing out word processing, spreadsheet, and similar programs to consumers free of charge. These programs look and run just like products that belong to Microsoft, even though this multi-billion-dollar company functions on the basis of software ownership and sales. 

Living Organism Patent Examples

Living organisms can now be protected by patent laws. Certain seeds and new plant varieties have been patented by certain countries and organizations. These types of patents raise moral, religious, and environmental issues for many. Smaller countries worry that massive companies might end up gaining a monopoly over plant supplies that may be needed by those who cannot afford to pay to use such plants. 

Farmers worry that they will be charged rates to be allowed to grow certain plants. Some are concerned that patenting plants and seeds will limit the market for buying, growing, saving, and selling seeds. 

Certain decrypted gene sequences are now being patented. Individuals and companies in the medical field have shown concern about such patents as they could lead to a slowing of developments for certain drug types that have the potential to cure diseases. 

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