Intellectual Property Rights: What Every Business Needs to Know

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Written by: Mitch De Guzman

In today’s constantly evolving world, intellectual property rights are essential to your trade’s distinctiveness. It is challenging to succeed without them, especially now that most businesses are moving online. Implementations have become much easier and more convenient as a result of technological advances such as fiber internet. It paved the way for innovations. However, while it provides us with all the functionality, it also makes us vulnerable to intellectual property infringement or piracy.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to a company’s intangible assets or non-physical properties protected from unauthorized use or implementation. In other words, they are mental creations such as inventions, literary works, designs, or symbols with commercial value.

There are two main types of intellectual property in the Philippines: industrial and copyright. Aspects of the industrial property include patents, trademarks, geographical indications, utility models, industrial designs, computer programs, scientific knowledge or processes, topographies of integrated circuits, trade secrets, and anything that’s essentially attributable to the technology industry.

On the other hand, copyrights or neighboring rights include scientific, scholarly, artistic, and literary and artistic works. Examples include musical, dramatic, audiovisual, artistic, photographic, architectural, sound recordings, etc.

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What are intellectual property rights?

Intellectual property rights are legal protections granted to creators for their original works, inventions, or discoveries. Simply put, they are the laws that give the owner of an intellectual or artistic creation exclusive rights to its commercial use.

The protection can be geographical if registered in a specific country’s intellectual property office, or non-geographical for example, on the internet. 

7 Different Types of Intellectual Property 

Every country’s intellectual property laws are different. However, if you intend to operate on a global scale, you should be familiar with the various types of intellectual property recognized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  You may also download the WIPO intellectual property handbook as an additional resource.

1. Trademark

A trademark is a word or group of words, a sign, symbol, logo, or any combination that differentiates and identifies the source of one entity’s goods or services from those of others.

On the other hand, trademark law prevents others from using these distinguishing product features. However, not all brands are eligible for legal protection – acceptance and registration are at the sole discretion of each country’s trademark office.

A copyright is a term that describes a person’s ownership rights to an original creative expression imprinted on a tangible medium of expression. These include works of literature, drama, music, and art. Any job creator is automatically the owner unless they assign their intellectual rights to another person or entity (e.g., publisher). 

3. Patent

A patent is a legal and exclusive right awarded to a new, innovative, and valuable product. In other words, the patent act protects inventions such as processes, machines, manufactured items, or any new scientific knowledge. It must, however, include novel and technical information of the design, as stated in the application. Additionally, it should have industrial capability, which means it should work on a large scale.

Patent protection can be denied if your invention is deemed obvious, useless, or morally offensive. If you succeed, your rights will be valid for up to twenty years, depending on the type of patent application.

Furthermore, having several patented products or inventions does not automatically qualify you for new product registration. Each new creation requires a new patent application.

4. Geographical Indications

A geographical indication (GI) is a label that appears on products from a specific region. Correspondingly, the products should have the qualities or reputation derived from their geographical origin. In other words, there should be a clear connection between the product and its original manufacturing location.

5. Trade Secret

Trade secrets are information with inherent economic value and are not widely known or readily ascertainable by others. These secrets are formulas, procedures, processes, designs, instruments, patterns, or other details that the owner takes reasonable measures to protect.

7. Industrial Designs

An industrial design consists of two to three-dimensional elements such as the article’s shape, patterns, lines, or color. It does not include technical or functional aspects. In other words, it’s purely decorative.

Why is Intellectual Property Protection Important?

In today’s increasingly knowledge-based economy, intellectual property is precious. Creating valuable intellectual property necessitates substantial investments in both brainpower and skilled labor. Therefore, no one should have unauthorized access to your prized creations.

Furthermore, intellectual property protection provides businesses and individuals with a competitive advantage and the opportunity to capitalize on their inventions fully. As a consequence, it encourages innovation. Likewise, artists would get fair compensation for their efforts, and cultural vitality would flourish as a result.

Fiber internet connectivity is essential in this regard, not only to encourage innovation but also to keep up with new technologies and global market trends.

The Benefits of Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property (IP) safeguards the time, money, and effort you have invested in your business. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a rundown of its benefits.

  • safeguard what is yours
  • convert your hard work and ingenuity into a profit
  • prepare for growth or market expansion
  • keep rivals at bay
  • avoid infringing on the rights of others
  • prevent your employees from assisting your competitors
  • entice investors

The protection of intellectual properties is critical in promoting international trade. Businesses from all over the world now compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Consequently, effective domestic and international patent and trademark protection is critical to their company’s operations in the international market.

As a result, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) entered into force, urging the two international organizations to form a mutually beneficial relationship. Furthermore, the TRIPS Agreement legally binds members to adhere to specific rules governing fundamental WIPO-managed conventions. 

As a member of WIPO, the Philippines has its full support in advancing intellectual property (IP) rights for innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Trade Organization is the only international organization tasked with the responsibility of establishing global trade rules. One of its primary responsibilities is to ensure that trade flows as freely, predictably, and seamlessly as possible.

On the other hand, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the global protection of industrial property (inventions, trademarks, and designs) as well as copyrighted materials (literary and artistic works, music, photography, etc.).

While the two organizations are distinct, they have a long and symbiotic history in the multilateral trading system. These two critical global economic law and governance institutions collaborate to develop international economic relations and establish financial transactions rules.

Online Filing of Intellectual Property Rights

The first step in protecting your intellectual property is to register with the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPOPhil) 

There are two approaches to this. Either hire an intellectual property lawyer to assist you in navigating the complex and time-consuming application process, or do it yourself.

IPOPhil, on the other hand, has made it as simple as possible to file intellectual property rights via its e-services. Its online portal has everything you need to know about intellectual property (IP), such as national laws, legal rights, requirements, registered trademarks, patented inventions, etc. Knowing this vital information ahead of time will save you time and effort. Needless to say, subscribing to a reputable internet provider is a significant advantage in completing this process.

Here are a few things to consider when applying for legal protection.

  • Make sure you have a comprehensive IP protection strategy in place. 
  • Be aware that intellectual property laws differ in every country. For example, there is no international copyright that protects an author’s writings all over the world. Only the copyright laws of the country where it was registered apply. 
  • Check the online records for pending applications, trademark information, and granted patent rights to see if a similar product exists. As a result, you avoid having to revise your application, saving you time and effort.
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Infringement Against Intellectual Property Rights

Infringement of intellectual property rights is the unauthorized use of intangible creations. Violations can happen accidentally or on purpose for a specific gain. While it is not a criminal offense, owners may assert their rights before civil judges.

However, in these instances, the patent owner must prove that his creation is being used without permission, resulting in financial or credibility loss. Furthermore, he must provide evidence of the infringement through certificates issued by copyright collective management organizations or notary records of intellectual property rights transfers. 

Here are a few of the most frequently occurring infractions of the law:

  • Infringement of a patent, trademark, or copyright or using other people’s creations and convincing others that they are the same as the original
  • Copyright or trademark infringement or unauthorized production and distribution of musical recordings or other media
  • Taking trade secrets without permission or discovering competitors’ secrets through corporate espionage.

How to Resolve an Intellectual Property Ownership Dispute

Intellectual property rights holders have the option of filing a court action or sending a cease and desist letter to the intellectual property rights violator. If the defendant is convicted, the court has the authority to seize all materials used in the manufacture of the infringing goods. In addition, the owner may be compensated financially for lost income, the costs of the proceedings, and attorney’s fees. But before taking legal measures, the property owner should know that legal proceedings may not always be profitable.

Key Takeaway

Some individuals believe that they don’t need intellectual property protection. That, however, should not be the case. Some dishonest people may steal your idea and pass it off as their own, causing you financial and reputational damage. It is therefore critical to have intellectual property protection in place for any business or innovation to avoid unfair competition and copying. You may think it’s a waste of money, but you’ll be glad you did it in the end.

Investing in Intangible Asset Protection

Given the prevalence of fiber internet nowadays, it should be no surprise that our country has seen increased online businesses. Unfortunately, it brings with it the risks of data theft and fraudulent transactions. For the sake of protecting your investments, you should consider subscribing to a reputable internet service provider in the Philippines.

Here are some straightforward steps small and medium-sized businesses can take to safeguard their digital content and intellectual assets.

  1. Verify if the service provider has the necessary infrastructure to provide you with a fast internet connection.
  2. Purchase separate subscriptions for your home and business.
  3. Verify the source of any material you intend to use
  4. Encrypt your usernames and passwords to protect your accounts.

The Most Effective Backbone Technology for your Business Assets

Streamtech Fiber Internet

Protecting digital content and intellectual property rights is crucial to any business. Streamtech understands the critical nature of fiber internet in maintaining a competitive edge in international trade. On top of that, we believe in the importance of protecting and honoring the rights of intellectual property owners. Thus, Streamtech strives to provide fiber internet connectivity that is both safe and secure

Streamtech is one of the Philippines’ leading internet service providers. It has a strong reputation for performance and excellence in delivering the best backbone technology to its customers at a competitive price. What sets Streamtech apart is its extensive peering with global internet upstream providers, primarily on the Asia-Pacific and US routes. Subsequently, the international presence enabled Streamtech to expand its capacity to multiple gigabit connectivity. Localized content and peering, in particular, helped strengthen the network. These components provide businesses with a significant competitive advantage in the global market. Consider Streamtech your first choice if you’re looking for the premier internet service provider in the Philippines. That is the most sensible decision you can make for your growing profession or enterprise.

Visit our official Facebook page to learn more about our products and services. You can also look through our local Facebook pages in your area. SAM – Support and Assistance Mate – is also on hand to help answer your questions via our various customer service channels. You can look up “SAM by Streamtech Internet” in Viber.

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