Meaning of Intellectual Property

How is Intellectual Property defined by different entities?

Before one understand the meaning and importance of Intellectual Property, it is important to understand the meaning of the separate words which makes the phrase “Intellectual Property” so relevant in today’s world. The term “intellectual” is concerned with individuals who possess a distinct experience and intelligence and valuable insight and utilize it by applying their resourceful and creative minds for the sole purpose to bring about a change in the society.

A general definition of an Intellectual is a person who engages in a critical study, thoughts, and reflection about the reality of society, proposes solutions for the normative problems of society, and by such discourse in the public sphere gains authority from public opinion. The term “property” generally relates to things, possessions, something tangible or intangible to which the owner has a legal right.

In a theoretical aspect, Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the protection of creations of the mind, which have a moral as well as a commercial value. Intellectual property provides a platform for protecting the original work of a person from being infringed or copied by another person. Intellectual property lets a person gain financial benefit by exploiting his or her original idea and in turn, helps in excluding others from use of a person’s creation. Intellectual property provides a secure platform to a person for presenting his or her idea.

Another definition states that Intellectual Property refers to the legal rights granted to the owner with the aim to protect the creations of the intellect. Intellectual property includes brand names, discoveries, formulas, inventions, knowledge, registered designs, software, and works of artistic, literary, or musical nature. It is one of the most readily tradable properties in the digital marketplace.

Intellectual Property is a huge business nowadays which has to be controlled by a top authority. The main governing body related to the field of Intellectual Property is World Intellectual Property Organization. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 to encourage creative activity to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. Currently, there are 187 member states under the World Intellectual Property Organization. WIPO administrates a total of 26 international treaties and the headquarters base is in Geneva, Switzerland. The members of the WIPO consist of 186 UN Members and the Holy See. Non-members are the states of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. WIPO has established WIPOnet which is a global information network. The WIPOnet project seeks to link over 300 intellectual property offices (IP offices) in all WIPO member states. Further, WIPOnet provides a means of securing communication among all connected parties. WIPOnet is the foundation for WIPO’s intellectual property services.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines Intellectual Property as “Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce”. The Intellectual Property (IP) system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish by striking the right balance between the interests of the innovators and the wider public interest.  Creators can be given the right to prevent others from using their inventions, designs or other creations and to use that right to negotiate payment in return for others using them.

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