Intellectual property is a legal concept that protects the scholarly creations of an individual, for which such rights are reserved. Intellectual property law provides for particular exclusive rights to different kinds of intangible assets. Some of these assets include music, literature, and creative works. Others include innovations and discoveries as well as words, expressions, ciphers, and designs. The most popular kinds of intellectual property rights comprise copyright, patents, trademarks, business design rights, and trade secrets in some jurisdictions (Groves, 1997). Even though several legal principles overriding intellectual property rights have developed over time, their use started in the 19th century. In the 20th century, this term became familiar to most people all over the world. Intellectual property laws govern and administer the conception of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, trade secret acts and copyrights. In addition, this law involves the fortification of intellectual property rights as well as the legal quest of individuals who encroach on other people’s intellectual property rights. This law overlays many other kings of laws and regulations such as copyright law, the law of tort, trademark law, patent law and proceedings. Currently, there are individuals who believe that intellectual property is very important and others who are against this concept (Wong & Dutfield, 2011). In this paper both arguments for and against intellectual property in presented while taking various laws and regulations on the intellectual property into consideration.
Intellectual Property Laws
As indicated before, intellectual property laws involve the fortification of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. In addition, other legal procedures like prejudicial competition are also encompassed. Generally, what an intellectual property law does is to provide the inventor or creator of a new and exclusive product or concept a provisional monopoly for using it (Adolf, 2001). Both the statute as well as common laws contribute significantly to intellectual property laws. For instance, the common law forms the basis for the formation of trade secrets; however, protecting them necessitates the application of legal options available in the contract law or the law of tort. Statutes play an important role in the creation and governing of copyrights, patents and trademarks, which embodies the proprietorship of an innovative concept for a given period of time. Creative and inventive works such as music, paintings, prints, movies and software could be safeguarded by copyright laws. In most cases, laws governing trademarks, trade secrets and patents are used by businesses since they bear the commercial value of the property they protect (Hansen, 2006).
Patent and copyrights laws are administered solely by both the constitution and congressional assembly of the United States. Conversely, federal and state laws control trademarks and certain features of unfair competition clashes. Intellectual property laws are complicated and are incessantly developing (Archibugi & Filippetti, 2010). For instance, most prosecutors who have got the required supplementary education on patent law have had to a further step in differentiating themselves as experts in the field of intellectual property law. Federal and universal convention laws deal with global intellectual property law (Adolf, 2001). They never handle trade secret issues. With the use of the international internet presently, adopting other people’s concepts, works or innovative products becomes very easy. Therefore, international intellectual property laws become very important in protecting the rights of different people (Yu, 2007).
The argument for Intellectual Property
One of the most valuable assets for any corporation or business entity is intellectual property. New scientific and technological advancements have made it necessary for attorneys with particular experiences in these fields to assist in protecting the intellectual assets of companies, businesses, writers, innovators, musicians, artists, and other proprietors of inventive works. The major importance of intellectual property to most corporations is providing them with a competitive advantage over their competitors (Castle, 2009). For instance, if a company’s product has attracted a lot of demand in the market, protecting the intellectual property behind the production of that commodity will ensure that no other company or business uses the same technique to produce a similar product. This gives them a competitive advantage over their competitors. Currently, there is a lot of competition within different sectors of the economy. This increases the need for intellectual property lawyers to secure the rights to new concepts and safeguard the proprietorship of the available inventions. Other laws could be influenced by time factors, but intellectual property laws remain active as long as there are inventions and discoveries (Lewis, 2008).
The developments of the worldwide web have escalated crimes related to intellectual property, especially piracy of products, internet piracy as well as an offensive registration of trademarks over the internet. Protection of contents and electronic privileges in modern society is an area that is developing quite rapidly. Without proper laws that protect property owners, the benefits received from such innovations could be reduced to a greater extent. The worth of the intellectual property to a person does not depend on tangible features such as size and structure; rather, it is very important since it epitomizes ownership and a special usage right, manufacture, copying, or promotions to an exclusive invention or concept. This makes it the most significant asset to an individual, small business or even a corporation that owns it (Braga, Fink& Paz, 2000).
The aspects of ethics in the intellectual property
Ethics incorporates core values and principles that guide the execution of activities in various settings. The values are crucial in ensuring the realization of accurate results and quality performance in research and in the protection of intellectual property. Various professions and activities have ethical standards that participating members are expected to conform to with diligence. The standards are set to foster sanity and facilitate the protection of intellectual property with the utmost decorum. Notably, ethical principles are critical in conducting research studies and using other people’s intellectual properties. This is a crucial provision when considered critically (Burk, 2007). That is, the intellectual property guidelines and laws advance sanity and the realization of factual results. Ethical standards in research settings require intellectuals to practice fairness, display subjective respect, exhibit confidentiality and formulate structured methods of communication. It should also acknowledge the works of other parties. This is to enhance social coherence and build a strong relationship between intellectuals. Notably, the intellectual property laws incorporate the fortification of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. This also incorporates other legal procedures like prejudicial. The law provides the inventor or creator of a new and exclusive product or concept a provisional monopoly for using it.
Intellectual property laws are set to explore the key code of ethics that are viable in driving literacy to influence decision-making. The prime target is to provide credible ethical information. This will guide research interviews and survey subjects. Consequently, it seeks to create a research consent form with the requisite information. This is to be presented to the participants who include students, professionals, and large organizations. They are identified as the intellects that are to get the most value from the study’s findings that appertain to the benefits of ethical standards in research (Henry & Stiglitz, 2010). Accordingly, three methodologies can drive studies of intellectual properties. The methodologies include ethnography, journalism, and activities. The methodologies have various merits and complications that explain the need for their proper evaluation before adoption. The study will adopt an ethnography methodology that supports qualitative studies.
As noted in various intellectual reports, codes of ethics are guiding principles and values that guide intellectuals in their daily activities. The ethical standards are set with an aim to ensure the acquisition of credible information from the participants. Firstly, the acts of arrogance or lack of respect to participants by the intellectuals are detrimental when conducting studies (Himma, 2008). This explains the reason for the development of viable ethical principles when executing fieldwork activities. In the study, the identified code of ethics, includes fairness, respect for human dignity and confidential management of information. Intellectuals should exercise equality ideals when engaging the participants.
The ethical codes of engagement are identified based on the intellectual’s judgment of their relevance in steering the planned activities. Intellectuals should hold the capacity to foster social integration and mutual understanding that is significant in aiding the realization of reliable data and protection of intellectual properties. This ethical principle forms the most important section that is quite valuable to intellectuals. Intellectuals should embrace fairness in their endeavors. In particular, fairness is an ethical code that ensures justice to all participants who are involved in a study. It entails equal treatment of the participants and distribution of research resources. Concurrently, intellectuals should eradicate discrimination and unjust practices that may compromise the quality of the response from the participants.
Intellectual reports state that fairness is a critical element in the execution of qualitative ethnographic studies. This is to enable the collection of data that are characterized with absolute consistency. In this regard, the intellectuals will exercise fairness and justice when conducting studies. People should treat every intellectual with the utmost respect by providing him or her with in-depth information on the use of their properties without discrimination. Basic guidelines that shape an individual’s response capacity should be embraced (Henry & Stiglitz, 2010). This is achievable by providing requisite law frameworks to the users of intellectual properties and patents. Both the statute as well as common laws contribute significantly to intellectual property laws. This is evident when common legislations form the basis for the formation of trade provisions. Nonetheless, their protection requires the application of legal options available in the patent laws (Kinsella, 2008)
Critics of intellectual property
There is strong evidence to support those against the intellectual property concept. Among other factors, critiques argue that intellectual property impedes innovation and exploits people in modern society (Kinsella, 2008). However, most of the common arguments against intellectual property have never been analyzed well. Specifically, the representation of the market of concepts offers no rationalization for the proprietorship of ideas. They further argue that the alternative to intellectual property is that products are never owned as perceived by most people. Approaches against intellectual property are comprised of civil noncompliance, advancement of non-owned information, as well as the development of a more compliant society (Himma, 2008). In addition, the concept behind patenting is that the essentials of the innovation give the inventor a limited time for special rights to produce, use or even sell the invention. However, patents overwhelm invention in that corporations could take a patent, or purchase an individual’s patent to bar others from using these concepts. Besides, because intellectual property can be traded, normally it is the wealthy and influential that benefit. They do not contribute greatly to the intellectual toil of creating new inventions.
Consent for Patents
Patents are guided by law so as to protect intellectual property rights. Respect to human dignity forms a formidable intellectual value that intellects must display. Respect for personal ideologies requires intellectuals and organizations to understand the subjective nature of intellectual property laws and their capacity in providing patents (Henry & Stiglitz, 2010). They entail operations without disregard for individuals’ decisions and protection from illegal patents. To attain effective and qualitative results in various studies, intellectuals should respect patent laws. That is, they should embrace legal provisions in regard to intellectual property rights. Respect earns trust and secures excellent interrelations between the intellectuals and the respondents. In various contexts, individuals and organizations should researcher seeks to employ respect as a foremost principle to foster the research activities. Contextually, this will avert possible resistance from the potential respondents. This is a critical provision in various aspects.
In the context of patenting intellectual rights, confidential management of information is vital in any field of operation. This principle requires researchers and professionals in diverse fields to use the knowledge/ ideologies borrowed for the intended purposes. Another code of ethics is that the idea should not be leaked to third parties who may use the information inappropriately (Favale, 2012). Confidentiality is an integral element and intellectual owners must be assured of how best the information or ideas they provide will be protected. This is to protect intellectual property rights and patents and avoid the development of negative legal provisions. Clearly, social equality and unfair representation of ideologies in various studies is an aspect that delimits the ability to exercise ethical guidelines. Intellectuals should apply systematic social practices and guidelines to facilitate patent protection.
In conclusion, intellectual property is very important especially in protecting individuals who create new inventions, innovations and different kinds of arts. Intellectual property laws play an important role in preventing acts of piracy that is quite rampant in today’s competitive world. However, there are limitations of intellectual property that still require analysis. Such critics, according to antagonists, include impeding innovations and exploiting people. Also, intellectual property only benefits the wealthy and influential in society since it can be traded. Precisely, intellectual property laws involve the fortification of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. In addition, other legal procedures like prejudicial competition are also encompassed as indicated before. Generally, what an intellectual property law does is to provide the inventor or creator of a new and exclusive product or concept a provisional monopoly for using it. Both the statute as well as common laws contribute significantly to intellectual property laws. For instance, the common law forms the basis for the formation of trade secrets; however, protecting them necessitates the application of legal options available in the contract law or the law of tort.
Adolf, H. (2001). Trade-Related aspects of intellectual property rights and developing countries. The Developing Economies. 39(1): 49–84.
Archibugi, D. & Filippetti, A. (2010). The Globalisation of Intellectual Property Rights: Four Learned Lessons and Four Theses. Global Policy. 1: 137–149.
Braga, P., Fink, C, & Paz, C. (2000). Intellectual property rights and economic development. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Burk, D. L. (2007). Intellectual Property in the Context of e-Science. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 12(1): 600–617.
Castle, D. (2009). The role of intellectual property rights in biotechnology innovation. Cheltenham, U.K: Edward Elgar.
Favale, M. (2012). The Right of Access in Digital Copyright: Right of the Owner or Right of the User?. The Journal of World Intellectual Property. 15(1): 1–25.
Groves, P. (1997). Sourcebook on intellectual property law. London: Cavendish Pub.
Hansen, C. (2006). U.S. intellectual property law and policy. Cheltenham: ELGAR.
Henry, C. & Stiglitz, J. E. (2010). Intellectual Property, Dissemination of Innovation and Sustainable Development. Global Policy. 1(1): 237–251.
Himma, K. E. (2008). The justification of intellectual property: Contemporary philosophical disputes. Journal Am. Soc. Inf. Sci.,59(1): 1143–1161.
Kinsella, S. (2008). Against intellectual property. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Lewis, A. (2008). Intellectual property protection: Promoting innovation in a global information economy. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Wong, T. & Dutfield, G. (2011). Intellectual property and human development: Current trends and future scenarios. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Yu, K. (2007). Trademark and unfair competition. Westport, CT.: PRAEGER.