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What is IP?

Intellectual property refers to
creations of the mind: inventions;
literary and artistic works; and
symbols, names and images used
in commerce. Intellectual property
is divided into two categories: Industrial Property and Copyright


What is Industrial Property?

y includes
patents for inventions,
trademarks, industrial designs
and geographical indications.


What is copyright ?

covers literary
works (such as novels,
poems and plays), films,
music, artistic works
(e.g., drawings, paintings,
photographs and sculptures)
and architectural design.
Rights related to copyright
include those of performing
artists in their performances,
producers of phonograms
in their recordings, and
broadcasters in their radio
and television programs.


What are intellectual
property rights?

They allow creators, or owners, of
patents, trademarks or copyrighted
works to benefit from their own
work or investment in a creation.

The importance of intellectual
property was first recognized in
the Paris Convention for the
Protection of Industrial Property
(1883) and the Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works (1886). Both
treaties are administered by the
World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO).


Why promote and protect
intellectual property?

- the progress and
well-being of humanity rest on its
capacity to create and invent new
works in the areas of technology
and culture
- the legal
protection of new creations
encourages the commitment of
additional resources for further
- the promotion
and protection of intellectual
property spurs economic growth,
creates new jobs and industries,
and enhances the quality and
enjoyment of life.

An efficient and equitable
intellectual property system can help
all countries to realize intellectual
property’s potential as a catalyst
for economic development and
social and cultural well-being.
The intellectual property system
helps strike a balance between
the interests of innovators and
the public interest, providing an
environment in which creativity
and invention can flourish, for
the benefit of all.


How does the average
person benefit?

Intellectual property rights reward
creativity and human endeavor,
which fuel the progress of
humankind. Some examples:

- The multibillion dollar film,
recording, publishing and
software industries – which
bring pleasure to millions of
people worldwide – would
not exist without copyright

Without the rewards provided
by the patent system,
researchers and inventors
would have little incentive to
continue producing better
and more efficient products
for consumers.

Consumers would have no
means to confidently buy
products or services without
reliable, international
trademark protection and
enforcement mechanisms
to discourage counterfeiting
and piracy.


What is a Patent?

A patent is an exclusive right
granted for an invention –
a product or process that provides
a new way of doing something,
or that offers a new technical
solution to a problem.
A patent provides patent owners
with protection for their inventions.
Protection is granted for a limited
period, generally 20 years.


Why are patents necessary?

Patents provide incentives to
individuals by recognizing their
creativity and offering the possibility
of material reward for their
marketable inventions. These
incentives encourage innovation,
which in turn enhances the quality
of human life.


What kind of protection
do patents offer?

Patent protection means an
invention cannot be commercially
made, used, distributed or sold
without the patent owner’s
consent. Patent rights are usually
enforced in courts that, in most
systems, hold the authority to stop
patent infringement. Conversely,
a court can also declare a patent
invalid upon a successful challenge
by a third party.


What rights do patent
owners have?

A patent owner has the right to
decide who may – or may not –
use the patented invention for
the period during which it is
protected. Patent owners may give permission to, or license, other
parties to use their inventions on
mutually agreed terms. Owners
may also sell their invention rights
to someone else, who then
becomes the new owner of the
patent. Once a patent expires,
protection ends and the invention
enters the public domain. This is
also known as becoming off
patent, meaning the owner no
longer holds exclusive rights to
the invention, and it becomes
available for commercial
exploitation by others.


What role do patents play
in everyday life?

Patented inventions have pervaded
every aspect of human life, from
electric lighting (patents held by
Edison and Swan) and sewing
machines (patents held by Howe
and Singer), to magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) (patents held by
Damadian) and the iPhone
(patents held by Apple).
In return for patent protection,
all patent owners are obliged to
publicly disclose information on
their inventions in order to enrich
the total body of technical
knowledge in the world. This everincreasing
body of public
knowledge promotes further
creativity and innovation. Patents
therefore provide not only
protection for their owners but
also valuable information and
inspiration for future generations
of researchers and inventor


How is a patent granted?

The first step in securing a patent
is to file a patent application. The
application generally contains the
title of the invention, as well as an
indication of its technical field. It
must include the background and
a description of the invention, in
clear language and enough detail
that an individual with an average
understanding of the field could
use or reproduce the invention.
Such descriptions are usually
accompanied by visual materials –
drawings, plans or diagrams – that
describe the invention in greater
detail. The application also
contains various “claims”, that is,
information to help determine the
extent of protection to be granted
by the patent.


What kinds of inventions
can be protected?

An invention must, in general,
fulfill the following conditions to
be protected by a patent. It must
be of practical use; it must show
an element of “novelty”, meaning
some new characteristic that is
not part of the body of existing
knowledge in its particular technical
field. That body of existing
knowledge is called “prior art”.
The invention must show an
“inventive step” that could not
be deduced by a person with
average knowledge of the technical
field. Its subject matter must
be accepted as “patentable”
under law. In many countries,
scientific theories, mathematical
methods, plant or animal varieties,
discoveries of natural substances,
commercial methods or methods
of medical treatment (as opposed
to medical products) are not
generally patentable.


Who grants patents?

Patents are granted by national
patent offices or by regional
offices that carry out examination
work for a group of countries –
for example, the European Patent
Office (EPO) and the African
Intellectual Property Organization
(OAPI). Under such regional
systems, an applicant requests
protection for an invention in one
or more countries, and each
country decides whether to offer
patent protection within its
borders. The WIPO-administered
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
provides for the filing of a single
international patent application
that has the same effect as national
applications filed in the designated
countries. An applicant seeking
protection may file one application
and request protection in as many
signatory states as needed.


What is a trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive sign
that identifies certain goods or
services produced or provided by
an individual or a company. Its
origin dates back to ancient times
when craftsmen reproduced their
signatures, or “marks”, on their
artistic works or products of a
functional or practical nature.
Over the years, these marks have
evolved into today’s system of
trademark registration and
protection. The system helps
consumers to identify and
purchase a product or service
based on whether its specific
characteristics and quality – as
indicated by its unique trademark
– meet their needs.


What do trademarks do?

Trademark protection ensures that
the owners of marks have the
exclusive right to use them to
identify goods or services, or to
authorize others to use them in
return for payment. The period of
protection varies, but a trademark
can be renewed indefinitely upon
payment of the corresponding
fees. Trademark protection is
legally enforced by courts that, in
most systems, have the authority
to stop trademark infringement.
In a larger sense, trademarks
promote initiative and enterprise
worldwide by rewarding their
owners with recognition and
financial profit. Trademark
protection also hinders the efforts
of unfair competitors, such as
counterfeiters, to use similar
distinctive signs to market inferior
or different products or services.
The system enables people with
skill and enterprise to produce and
market goods and services in the
fairest possible conditions, thereby
facilitating international trade.


What kinds of trademarks
can be registered?

Trademarks may be one or a
combination of words, letters and
numerals. They may consist of
drawings, symbols or threedimensional
signs, such as the
shape and packaging of goods.
In some countries, non-traditional
marks may be registered for
distinguishing features such as
holograms, motion, color and
non-visible signs (sound, smell
or taste).
In addition to identifying the
commercial source of goods or
services, several other trademark
categories also exist. Collective
marks are owned by an association
whose members use them to
indicate products with a certain
level of quality and who agree
to adhere to specific requirements
set by the association. Such
associations might represent, for
example, accountants, engineers
or architects. Certification marks
are given for compliance with
defined standards but are not
confined to any membership. They may be granted to anyone
who can certify that their products
meet certain established standards.
Some examples of recognized
certification are the internationally
accepted “ISO 9000” quality
standards and Ecolabels
for products with reduced
environmental impact.


How is a trademark

First, an application for registration
of a trademark must be filed with
the appropriate national or
regional trademark office. The
application must contain a clear
reproduction of the sign filed for
registration, including any colors,
forms or three-dimensional
features. It must also contain a list
of the goods or services to which
the sign would apply. The sign
must fulfill certain conditions in
order to be protected as a
trademark or other type of mark.
It must be distinctive, so that
consumers can distinguish it from
trademarks identifying other
products, as well as identify a
particular product with it. It must
neither mislead nor deceive
customers nor violate public order
or morality.
Finally, the rights applied for
cannot be the same as, or similar
to, rights already granted to
another trademark owner. This
may be determined through search
and examination by national
offices, or by the opposition of
third parties who claim to have
similar or identical rights.


How extensive is trademark

Almost all countries in the world
register and protect trademarks.
Each national or regional office
maintains a Register of
Trademarks containing full
application information on all
registrations and renewals, which
facilitates examination, search and
potential opposition by third
parties. The effects of the
registration are, however, limited
to the country (or, in the case of
regional registration, countries)
To avoid the need to register
separate applications with each
national or regional office, WIPO
administers an international
registration system for trademarks.
The system is governed by two
treaties: the Madrid Agreement
Concerning the International
Registration of Marks and the
Madrid Protocol. Persons with
a link (be it through nationality,
domicile or establishment) to a
country party to one or both of
these treaties may, on the basis of
a registration or application with
the trademark office of that
country (or related region), obtain
an international registration having
effect in some or all of the other
countries of the Madrid Union.


What is an industrial Design?

ID refers to ornamental or aesthetic aspects of an article. A design may consist of 3 dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article or 2 dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.

ID are applied to a wide variety of industrial products and handicrafts: from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry and other luxury Items; from house wares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures, from textile designs to leisure goods.

To be protected under most national laws, an industrial design must be new or original and non functional. this means that an industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature, and any technical features of the article to which it is applied are not protected by the design registration. However, those features could be protected by a patent.


Why protect industrial

Industrial designs are what make
an article attractive and appealing;
hence, they add to the commercial
value of a product and increase
its marketability.
When an industrial design is
protected, the owner – the person
or entity that has registered the
design – is assured an exclusive
right and protection against
unauthorized copying or imitation
of the design by third parties.
This helps to ensure a fair return
on investment. An effective
system of protection also benefits
consumers and the public at large,
by promoting fair competition and
honest trade practices, encouraging
creativity and promoting more
aesthetically pleasing products.
Protecting industrial designs helps
to promote economic development
by encouraging creativity in the
industrial and manufacturing
sectors, as well as in traditional
arts and crafts. Designs contribute
to the expansion of commercial
activity and the export of
national products.
Industrial designs can be relatively
simple and inexpensive to
develop and protect. They are
reasonably accessible to small
and medium-sized enterprises as
well as to individual artists and
craftsmakers, in both developed
and developing countries.


How can industrial designs
be protected?

In most countries, an industrial
design must be registered in order
to be protected under industrial
design law. As a rule, to be
registrable, the design must be
“new” or “original”. Countries
have varying definitions of such
terms, as well as variations in the
registration process itself.
Generally, “new” means that no
identical or very similar design is
known to have previously existed.
Once a design is registered, a
registration certificate is issued.
Following that, the term of
protection granted is generally
five years, with the possibility of
further renewal, in most cases
for a period of up to 15 years.
Hardly any other subject matter
within the realm of intellectual
property is as difficult to categorize
as industrial designs. And this has
significant implications for the
means and terms of its protection.
Depending on the particular
national law and the kind of
design, an industrial design may
also be protected as a work of
applied art under copyright law,
with a much longer term of
protection than the standard 10 or
15 years under registered design
law. In some countries, industrial
design and copyright protection
can exist concurrently. In other
countries, they are mutually
exclusive: once owners choose one
kind of protection, they can no
longer invoke the other.
Under certain circumstances
an industrial design may also
be protectable under unfair
competition law, although the
conditions of protection and
the rights and remedies available
can differ significantly.


How extensive is industrial
design protection?

Generally, industrial design
protection is limited to the country
in which protection is granted.
The Hague Agreement Concerning
the International Registration
of Industrial Designs, a WIPOadministered
treaty, offers a
procedure for international
registration of designs. Applicants
can file a single international
application either with WIPO
or the national or regional office
of a country party to the treaty.
The design will then be protected in
as many member countries of the
treaty as the applicant designates.


What is a

A geographical indication is a sign
used on goods that have a specific
geographical origin and possess
qualities or a reputation due
to that place of origin. Most
commonly, a geographical
indication consists of the name
of the place of origin of the
goods. Agricultural products
typically have qualities that derive
from their place of production and
are influenced by specific local
geographical factors, such as
climate and soil. Whether a sign
functions as a geographical
indication is a matter of national
law and consumer perception.
Geographical indications may
be used for a wide variety of
agricultural products, such as, for
example, “Tuscany” for olive oil
produced in a specific area of Italy,
or “Roquefort” for cheese
produced in that region of France.
The use of geographical indications
is not limited to agricultural
products. They may also highlight
specific qualities of a product that
are due to human factors found in
the product’s place of origin, such
as specific manufacturing skills and traditions. The place of origin
may be a village or town, a region
or a country. An example of the
latter is “Switzerland” or “Swiss”,
perceived as a geographical
indication in many countries for
products made in Switzerland and,
in particular, for watches


What is an appellation
of origin?

An appellation of origin is a
special kind of geographical
indication used on products that
have a specific quality exclusively
or essentially due to the
geographical environment in
which the products are produced.
The term geographical indication
encompasses appellations of
origin. Examples of appellations
of origin that are protected in
states party to the Lisbon
Agreement for the Protection of
Appellations of Origin and their
International Registration are
“Bordeaux” for wine produced in
the Bordeaux region of France,
“Prosciutto di Parma” – or Parma
ham – for ham produced in the
Parma province of Italy or
“Habana” for tobacco grown in
the Havana region of Cuba


Why do geographical
indications need protection?

Geographical indications are
understood by consumers to
denote the origin and quality of
products. Many of them have
acquired valuable reputations
which, if not adequately
protected, may be misrepresented
by commercial operators. False
use of geographical indications by
unauthorized parties, for example
“Darjeeling” for tea that was not
grown in the tea gardens of
Darjeeling, is detrimental to
consumers and legitimate
producers. The former are
deceived into believing they are
buying a genuine product with
specific qualities and characteristics,
and the latter are deprived of
valuable business and suffer
damage to the established
reputation of their products.


What is the difference
between a geographical
indication and a trademark?

A trademark is a sign used by a
company to distinguish its goods
and services from those produced
by others. It gives its owner the
right to prevent others from using the trademark. A geographical
indication guarantees to consumers
that a product was produced in
a certain place and has certain
characteristics that are due to that
place of production. It may be
used by all producers who make
products that share certain qualities
in the place designated by a
geographical indication.


What is a “generic”
geographical indication?

If the name of a place is used
to designate a particular type of
product, rather than to indicate its
place of origin, the term no longer
functions as a geographical
indication. For example, “Dijon
mustard”, a kind of mustard that
originated many years ago in the
French town of Dijon, has, over
time, come to denote mustard of
that kind made in many places.
Hence, “Dijon mustard” is now a
generic indication and refers to a
type of product, rather than a place.


How are geographical
indications protected?

Geographical indications are
protected in accordance with
national laws and under a wide
range of concepts, such as laws
against unfair competition,
consumer protection laws, laws for
the protection of certification
marks or special laws for the
protection of geographical
indications or appellations of
origin. In essence, unauthorized
parties may not use geographical
indications if such use is likely to
mislead the public as to the true
origin of the product. Applicable
sanctions range from court
injunctions preventing
unauthorized use to the payment
of damages and fines or, in serious
cases, imprisonment.


What is WIPO’s role in the
protection of geographical

WIPO administers a number of
international agreements that
deal partly or entirely with the
protection of geographical
indications (in particular, the
Paris Convention and the Lisbon
Agreement). WIPO meetings
offer Member States and other
interested parties the opportunity
to explore new ways of enhancing
the international protection of
geographical indications.