Innovation, creativity, novelty, ingenuity – the foundations of Intellectual Property (IP) Law is, simply put, the protection of the inventive spark as expressed by its maker. This sweat-of-the-brow approach to IP law is often cited as the rationale for the continued expansion of traditional IP protection measures to new forms of expression. In addition, the increasing human experience and its potential contribution to the knowledge economy is without doubt the strongest motivators for the renewal of IP law.
By default, IP law regulates an assortment of personal effects that are incorporeal, immaterial or intangible. By classifying these intellectual goods as property, IP law provides for the legal subsistence of ethereal commodities and provides the mechanism for its protection and exploitation.
As a result, IP law has allowed man to benefit from the expression of his individuality by dictating the rules of engagement for a game where it is impossible to lay hands on the object.
Not only did IP law bring the expression of intellectual endeavour within the scope of traditional property law, it went beyond the confines of private law to provide a bespoke framework for this type of property.
Over centuries the body of IP law statutes was developed to address the unique nature of every kind of creativity, innovation or material expression of ideas. These statutes now allow the creator, maker, author or owner of the rights to apply his own skill, judgment and labours for financial profit or personal gain. Consequently, IP law has created the means by which an artist (in the widest sense) may be rewarded for his efforts.
While the profit motive for IP law applies the force of the law to enrich the creator, it also limits the extent to which financial gain may be derived from a vested monopoly over the work. Therefore, IP law provides that in many cases the author’s exclusive control over a specific innovation will cease at a predetermined point while the work survives.
Consequently, IP law performs a dual function: the legal status it affords to intellectual property allows for its commercial application while the limited duration of IP rights stimulate further innovation in pursuit of a similar or greater reward.
By protecting the effort invested in creating new work, IP law prevents the unauthorised appropriation or gain from another’s industry. In addition, by offering protection IP law encourages new creators to produce more work of an increasingly higher quality that would attract bigger remuneration. By limiting the duration of protection, demanding the publication of the work and expecting the illustration of innovative ideas IP law allows others to build upon the revolutionary work of their peers. As a result, it is the single largest contributor to the creative commons and the founder of public knowledge.
In this way IP law facilitates the expansion of the knowledge economy, enriches our cultural environment, promotes all forms intellectual science, provides self-employment, maintains the foundation for economic growth, encourages pioneering work and continues to serve the public interest.
PATENTS & DESIGNS