Making Sense Of Modern Laws Regarding Intellectual Property
Copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets are the four central types of intellectual property. More or less, they’re laws mandated by national governments and other large bodies that grant individuals or businesses that invented something the exclusive right to using it.
Without such laws, My Pillow would likely never have made it to commercials on virtually all major US television station — another business would have produced knock-off “My Pillows” and take profits for themselves. The central reason for such protections is to promote economic growth and encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to be innovative in creating new products, services, processes, catchphrases, secret recipes, songs, and so on.
In fact, intellectual property is so important that it was the root cause of the ongoing trade war between the United States of America and China.
According to experts around the world, the importance of intellectual property isn’t likely to fade away into the sunset; rather, laws backing brand-new, innovative inventions and fresh thoughts will continue to play a significant role in everything business.
This holds especially true for the world of technology, as companies like Amazon call “dibs” on the right to create delivery drones that understand human body language and spoken word. It’s clear that, for example, Amazon isn’t anywhere close to creating such drones, though simply having the right to such ideas can be worth billions of dollars.
Let’s look at patents in the European Union
The UPC, or Unified Patent Court, is a government bureau under the umbrella of the European Union (EU) that protects patents — not necessarily all forms of intellectual property; just patents, in this case — filed by businesses. Registering one’s ideas in proper patent form before competitors file such patents is entirely necessary for success in the world of European commerce.
Even though excellence in European trade hinges directly on the ability to readily file patents without barriers to securing one’s own or a business’s own ideas, formally registering ideas for patents throughout the entirety of the European Union is remarkably difficult.
The European Patent Office, or EPO, is responsible for such oversight. One of the largest obstacles the EPO faces in registering patents is translating their contents into various languages, as the European Union’s member states collectively claim 24 different means of verbal communication.
Even worse, proprietors that take others’ registered, patented ideas for their own productions in countries outside of where such a European Union patent was initially filed often face no difficulties from the original holders of such patents.
For these two central reasons, among others, the European Union formed the Unified Patent Court, though debates regarding its legality are currently making their rounds in German courts, having recently left Spain.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation, also known as WIPO, hosts a Intellectual Property Day to bring public attention to the importance of protecting human creativity through the regulation of trademarks and patents worldwide. This self-funded agency of the UN, provides intellectual property information and coordination between 191 member countries.
The Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets
Jointly, the European Council and European Parliament brought forth the Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets, more commonly known as the European Union Trade Secrets Directive, in 2016.
The purpose of this body of law is to centralize law regarding intellectual property throughout the European Union, as to prevent any of the aforementioned problems from rearing their ugly heads, or at least reduce their occurrence as much as possible.
Trade secrets are different than the other three types of intellectual property, and the EU Trade Secrets Directive gave businesses with trade secrets the boost they needed to perform as normal.