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'intellectual Property Rights Represent One Of The Most Valuable Commercial Assets In Modern Society. But Also One Of The Most Problematic For A Company To Protect.' Discuss.

2723 words - 11 pages

Intellectual property is an area of law, "which allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property." Intellectual property rights provide people with control over ideas or information embodied in a valuable form of protection. It plays a major part in our modern business environment and becomes an increasingly valuable asset for establishing competitive advantage in all types of business. Currently many businesses dedicate as much attention to their ability to innovate, their strategy and creativity as they dedicate to their financial assets. This explains why businesses are so keen to protect these assets. Company, like IBM for example, was granted around 2,800 patents in year 2000. The company now owns more that 19,000 US patents and 34,000 all over the world, which added $1.5 billion to their profits in 2000 by licensing patents and developing new technologies. There are a number of organisations, like for example World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), whose objective is to promote the global protection and use of intellectual property rights in a way that allows everyone to benefit.Some of the main types of intellectual property, which are discussed in this essay, are patents, copyright and trademarks.Patents are granted for an invention, which should satisfy the requirements of the Patent Act 1977 , section 1(1):"(a) the invention is new ;(b) it involves an inventive step ;(c) it is capable of industrial application ;(d) the grant of a patent for it is not excluded by subsections (2) and (3) "Patent ownership can provide an inventor with a monopoly power over the limited period of time. It also prevents other parties from "making, using or selling an invention without the permission of the inventor." If someone uses an invention covered by a patent without the permission from the owner, the patent owner can take legal actions against that person or company. However, a person or company can pay royalties to the patent owner to be able to use that particular invention. As it states in the UK legislation a UK patent does not give rights outside the UK and lasts for a maximum 20 years. Ones a patent expires, the invention enters the public domain, and may be used by anyone who may wish to exploit it.Patents are also an important part within the European Union and the rest of the world. European Patent Convention (EPC), which contracts a number of states , has been set up by the European Patent Office (EPO), who grants a bundle of pattern which cover all or several member states, with the objective to balance EU law and create a pack of national patents. In the UK, it is the UK Patent Office, whose aim it is "to stimulate innovation and enhance the international competitiveness of British Industry and commerce."Patents are playing a major role in the modern business environment: their importance has increased as our society has become more technologically advanced, especially in the...

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