In his article ‘Making Sense of Modern Laws of Intellectual Property’, Kamil Idris, gives us insight into the government mandated laws that protect and grant exclusive rights to inventors to own their ideas.
Copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets are essential examples of excluding other parties from imitating our ideas and/or inventions. Professor Idris cites economic growth and entrepreneurship as the central reason for such protections. He goes on to explain that without such laws, a certain brand would likely never have gained global recognition as its knock-off competitor would’ve driven profits to himself through similar inventions. Businesses are encouraged to be innovative by being allowed to declare ownership of their products, ideas and services. In fact, the whole concept of intellectual property is of crucial importance as it can affect the overall outcome of businesses, as well as, discourage potential entrepreneurship among aspiring individuals.
Intellectual property has remained a bone of contention that has resulted in an ongoing trade war between the United States of America and China. But if we are to listen to the experts around the world, we’ll know that intellectual property is here to stay. In fact, securing rights to our tangible and intangible property will only get greater and mightier allowing for fresh inventions and innovative thoughts to significantly evolve the business world.
Intellectual property, however, varies from type to type. For example, the Unified Patent Court, is a government bureau operating under the European Union (EU) that secures patents filed by businesses. Taking out patents for our businesses before competitors register them is necessary to avoid intellectual theft. This also helps consolidate our businesses in the EU commerce. However, for proprietors in EU it is extremely difficult to formally register their patents throughout the region; The European Patent Office is responsible for this oversight. Therefore, the European Council and European Parliament introduced the Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets in 2016 to overcome the problems faced with recognizing or officially regarding registered patents throughout the European countries. Trade Secrets is a patent that varies from the other three types of intellectual property. It grants businesses with trade secrets the leverage to perform normally.
Kamil Idris has served as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization for 11 years from 1997 to 2008. As a highly accomplished individual, Kamil holds the offices of a Sudanese statesman, scholar and international civil servant. He graduated with LLB honours and received his PhD in international law. He also possesses honorary doctorate law degrees from 19 universities from all over the world. He has authored many books on the subject of intellectual property, international law and development.