What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is a complex legal term that refers to a variety of creations, from tangible products like artwork or books to intangible concepts such as trademarks and copyrighted material. This area of law covers a wide range of rights, including copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. Understanding intellectual property can be vital for businesses and creators who want to protect their work and ideas.​

Intellectual property or IP is a term that describes creations of the mind. These include, among others: inventions, images, literary and artistic works, names, and designs used in commerce. While the specific types of IP protection available vary from country to country, they typically include copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and patents.

IP rights enable holders to exclude others from making or using their protected creations without permission. This can help creators realise the economic value of their work and provide incentives for them to continue innovating. However, it can also create challenges for companies seeking to build on existing technologies or products.

How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

There are a number of different ways to protect your intellectual property rights, depending on the type of IP involved. Three of which are:

  • Copyright protection – is available for literary and artistic works such as novels, music compositions, fashion designs and artworks. Copyright gives authors exclusive rights to their works from the moment they are created in a tangible form that others could access. Unless expressly transferred to another party, the rights will remain with an author until they pass on or are terminated.
  • Patent – an application for a patent will be examined by an examiner at the relevant national patent office to determine whether it meets the requirements of novelty, inventiveness and applicability. If approved, a patent will usually give its owner exclusive rights in relation to the invention or design for up to 20 years from the filing date.
  • Trademarks – are protected by law in almost every country and can be registered at either a national or regional level. A well-known logo, word or phrase may function as a trademark if it is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of another business. The key difference between patents and trademarks is that patents last for a finite period of time – usually 20 years from the date of filing – whereas trademarks are granted indefinitely as long as they are renewed every 10 years.

A geographical indication is typically used to protect names and signs associated with wines, spirits and other products linked to a specific location. Wines and spirits producers use geographical indications labels to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions and ensure the integrity of the products.

To establish ownership over an industrial design, an application must usually be filed with the relevant authority in the country of manufacture. Protection will be given for new creations that have a unique shape, configuration or surface decoration.

The Benefits Of Having Intellectual Property Protected

Intellectual property rights enable creators to benefit from their work and can provide companies with a competitive edge. They also encourage people to innovate and create by giving them the knowledge that they will be rewarded for their efforts. This in turn helps boost economic development and creates opportunities for businesses of all sizes both at home and abroad.

What To Do If Someone Infringes On Your Intellectual Property

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The first step should be to engage with the other party to try to resolve the issue amicably. This can be done at little or no cost through mediation services, which are offered by some local authorities. If this fails, an intellectual property rights owner has several options, depending on the situation:

  • They can issue proceedings in a domestic court that has jurisdiction to hear the case. This can be expensive and success is not guaranteed because a judge will review the evidence and decide whether an infringement has occurred.
  • They may choose to contact their national intellectual property office or equivalent authority for assistance resolving the dispute. Only in cases where another government is suspected of infringing on IP rights would this option be worth considering.
  • They could give up their rights by licensing or assigning them to another party. This may not be practical, however, if the owner is seeking compensation for past usage of their IP, for example. They can also prevent infringement of their rights by licensing them to other parties under specific conditions. This is known as “contractual protection”.
  • Enter into a co-ownership agreement with another party that already holds rights to the work. This could be an option if two people jointly created a piece of work.

Selling Intellectual Properties

An intellectual property owner can sell or license their rights to another party at any time. As the IP rights are attached to the creator of the work rather than their business, they are free to enter into agreements with whomever they wish.

Does Infringement In Intellectual Property Affect BOI Application?

BOI supports the protection of intellectual property rights, considering them an integral part of Thailand’s economy. BOI-registered companies are required to pay BOI fees every year, which goes towards improving the country’s IP system and protecting Thai business owners. To learn more about BOI requirements for registration, there are lots of reputable law firms that can help you.

In order to protect their original works, people create intellectual property. This type of legal protection gives the creator exclusive rights to their work for a set amount of time.