Every human on the face of earth is smart and talented in their own way. We have people who are good at writing songs but not good at singing, they thus sell their lyrics to musicians who then executes them by singing. Some people are good at writing film scripts, producing musical beats etc. All these are creatives and as such, are bound to have their work copied or stolen and that is where the intellectual property law comes about.
Intellectual Property refers to broad property rights that are vested in the intangible. This may include names and logos that are attached to products, inventions and original works of authorship. These are some of the things that a person cannot possess physically hence Intellectual Property laws protect entities that do not have a physical form. As an artist, inventor, creator etc. one should ensure that others do not directly or indirectly profit from your original ideas. Can you imagine spending months to come up with a book only for someone to copy it and sell it as their own or creating music beats only for someone to use it to benefit themselves without your permission? It’s quite disheartening hence the purpose of intellectual property laws which is to encourage new ideas, artistic creativity, inventions for economic growth with the assurance that original works and ideas will be protected.
Intellectual Property laws generally protect the exclusive rights to use or reproduce the Intellectual Property rather than its possession. Though the rights to intellectual property may be given away temporarily using a licensing agreement.
The individual who first invented something, automatically becomes the owner of the intellectual property. In other situations, for example in a work place, some employers provide in their employment contracts that the employer owns whatever the employees create on the job, so the employee cannot claim their work once they have signed their rights away.
Intellectual Property is an umbrella that constitutes of; Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents and Trade Secrets that cannot be infringed. For instance, patents infringement occurs when a legally protected patent has been used without their permission, trade secret infringement occurs when a party discloses all or a part of trade secrets to another party if they had signed a non-disclosure agreement. One can say their copyright has been violated when an unauthorized party recreates part or all of their original work such as music, novel. On the other hand, Trademark infringement occurs when an unauthorized party uses a trademark that is licensed or a mark that resembles the licensed trademark. For instance, a rival might use a mark similar to that of its competitor to attract and capitalize on other companies’ strong brand images. A good example is a brand-new company using the coca cola logo on their bottle which is likely to attract coca cola consumers to buy their product.
Although intellectual property is legally protected, some expire after a certain period but others like Trademarks last a lifetime.