Intellectual Property – Trademarks and Copyrights

When someone creative has come out with an original piece of work, the first thing that strikes him is to get the intellectual Property rights for the creative piece of work. The piece of work can be in any field of work. It can be in the field of science, arts, sports, manufacturing or information technology. The creator of that work has to show that it is an original piece of work and then make that creation or discover his own property. For doing this, they have to go by Intellectual property law and the owner is given exclusive rights of their creation under this law. There are various types of Intellectual property – such as patents, copyrights and trademarks.

Trademarks are nothing but an indicator or a sign used by a business or an individual to represent that the product or the service created by them is unique and they are the owners of this product or service that is offered to customers. Thus the trademark is used to differentiate a unique product as well as a unique service.

The trademarks symbols that are used for the unique products include “TM”, which is an unregistered trademark for the product and the letter “R” enclosed in a circle for registered products. For services, the trademark used is called the service mark and is represented by the symbol “SM”. The owner of a registered trademark can go for legal proceedings if some other business or individual tries to register a similar product, according to trademark infringement laws.

Copyright is another form of intellectual property which is covered by the intellectual property law. These copyrights are usually obtained by the creators of articles and other literary works. These copyrights are given only for a specific period of time after which it enters the public domain. The copyright laws are governed by the world intellectual property organization.

One of the recent developments on the copyright front is the TRIP agreement signed by all the member countries of the WTO. Trip refers to Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights and covers all the legal aspects related to copyrights. Countries wanting to be a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have to sign this agreement, and it is therefore a step to having a more stringent worldwide copyright law in effect. This agreement first came into effect in the year 1994.