Objectives of Intellectual Property: Everything You Need to Know
Objectives of intellectual property refer to the purposes of protection granted to creators of innovative intellectual creations.3 min read updated on January 01, 2024
Objectives of intellectual property refer to the purposes of protection granted to creators of innovative intellectual creations. Intellectual property (IP) rights serve the important purpose of ensuring that creators will be recognized for their efforts and protected from infringement. When they are sure that their works are protected, creators are more likely to come up with more new creations. As such, IP also helps to promote creativity and innovation. There are many different forms of IP, each of which is protected by a certain type of IP rights.
What Is Intellectual Property?
IP is the protection given to inventors or creators of intellectual products with moral and commercial value. The objectives of IP law are to provide incentives to create and serve the interests of the public by promoting economic growth. It seeks to protect the rights of IP owners to enable them to reap the rewards of their creativity. Some people believe that this gives creators a financial incentive to produce IP and boosts investment in research and development. However, not everybody agrees that financial incentive promotes creativity. Some examples of creations that are regarded as IP include:
- Literary works
- Artistic works
- Scientific works
- Performances of performing artists
- Scientific discoveries
- Inventions in any field of human endeavor
- Service marks
- Commercial names
- Industrial designs
- Protection against unfair competition
- Other products of intellectual activity in artistic, literary, scientific, and industrial fields
- Service marks
- Trade secrets
Nature of Intellectual Property
IP has its own unique features to distinguish itself from other types of rights. These features include:
- Territorial – Unlike immovable property, IP property is commonly used in other countries. Therefore, IP-related issues tend to be resolved according to the national laws of the countries involved.
- Exclusive right to owners – This means that parties other than the owners do not have the right to use the IP without permission.
- Assignable – Since an IP is a form of rights, it can be assigned. It can be sold, purchased, licensed, hired, or attached.
- Independence – In most cases, IP rights are embodied in objects, with different types of IP rights subsisting in the same type of object.
- Subject to Public Policy – IP rights need to comply with public policy. While owners of IP seek to achieve adequate remuneration, they also have to make sure that consumers can use their creations with minimal inconvenience.
- Indivisible – Multiple parties can have interests in an original creation without having an effect on the interests of other right holders on the same item. Due to its indivisible nature, IP is a resource that cannot be exhausted.
Objectives of IP Law
In the internet age, IP rights are vital to the success of a business or brand. There are laws that protect owners of IP, mostly in the form of patents, copyrights, and trademarks. However, violation of the terms of these protections can lead to misappropriation and unfair competition. It can jeopardize economic success by slowing down the production of new ideas and content. Generally, the objectives of IP law include:
- Financial incentive – IP rights give creators of IP a financial incentive.
- Economic growth – IP law can facilitate economic growth by giving statutory expression to the creators' economic rights and promoting economic and social development through the fostering of fair trade.
In the U.S., IP serves the purpose of accelerating the application of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This agreement seeks to:
- Conclude agreements that seek to protect and enforce IP rights covering new and upcoming technologies and new transmission and distribution methods.
- Eliminate or prevent discrimination in matters that affect the availability, scope, acquisition, use, maintenance, and enforcement of IP rights.
- Enable U.S. citizens who need IP protection to gain fair and equitable market access opportunities.
- Play an active role in developing the IP regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make sure that it is consistent with other U.S. objectives.
- Help the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) build a cooperative relationship with the WTO.
If you need help understanding the objectives of intellectual property, you can post your legal need in UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.