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When Is It Important For Innovators To Protect Their Intellectual Property - Essay Example

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Innovation and inventions have been a common phenomenon in the society. Almost everyone, in one way or the other, has been responsible for creating new and useful works for self progress and overall development of the society…
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When Is It Important For Innovators To Protect Their Intellectual Property
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Download file to see previous pages Any innovation or improvement calls for investment in terms of time, funds and labour. Protection of this property is necessary to ensure recognition of work and encourage economic, cultural and social progress.

Protection for intellectual property leads to a healthy competition and enhances value and quality of products, thereby promoting economic growth by means of technological development and enriched cultural advancement. It opens fresh trade avenues and enhance standard of living. The governments have to act and ensure implementation of intellectual property system to sustain businesses in a theft free environment to enable steady growth (Sebban, Guy 2005).

Intellectual property is the name given to any new product or design or process and creative work of art or literature. Any invention or innovation involves dedicated effort on the part of an inventor who spends long hours in research and development. In addition, a significant amount of expenditure is also incurred towards development of new and innovative products or designs. If not protected and free copying is allowed, the inventor or innovator would soon get de-motivated, bringing stagnation to further development. Thus, protection of intellectual property assumes paramount importance.
Intellectual property protection is essential to all businesses to exploit their new ideas and articles in the market and prevent piracy and theft by others. All art works also need to be credited for their creativity to enhance cultural growth (Sebban, Guy 2005). The protection methods can be broadly classified as 'formal or institutional' and 'strategic'. Formal protection methods include patent, trade secret, trade mark, and copyright, while strategic methods cover agreements of confidentiality, secrecy, lead and complexity (Iandiorio, Joseph S 1995). In the subsequent paragraphs, we would discuss, in detail, two formal methods, namely, patent and copyright, and one strategic method, namely, confidentiality agreement, bringing out differences, merits and demerits of each.

Patent
A 'patent' is a grant from a country's government that provides security or protection to a new invention or innovation by an individual or a group (in case of a company) for a limited period of time, extending up to a maximum of 20 years (Richer, David L 2000). The grant gives the inventor, the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention covered under the patent (Berreth SP 1996).
The patents can be divided as 'utility' or 'design' patents. Utility patents are granted to primarily protect an invention. The invention refers to any of the following (Iandiorio, Joseph S 1995):-
A new process, machine and composition of matter or
A new improvement in a process or machine or
New and useful utilization of old machines or devices or
New combination of old and well-known parts of machines or processes.
Utility patents may further be classified as chemical (related to compounds), electrical (covering all electrical components and circuits), and general or mechanical (including gears, shafts, and propellers etc for motor engines and machines). Award of utility patents require implementation of a new and useful idea followed by presentation in some physical form.
Design patents are also awarded to new ideas, however, these cover only appearance, that is, ornamental aspect of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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