c) TRADE MARKS
Trademark is for broad identity of specific goods and services allowing differences to be made among different trades. This is a territorial right, which requires registration, but without any time limit. Lawyers are needed for guidelines.
A trademark is an identification symbol which is used in the course of trade to enable the purchasing people (buyers) to distinguish one trader’s goods from the similar goods of other traders. These marks also symbolize distinctly the quality of the products. These marks are in the form of certain ‘wordings’ or can be in the format of logos, designs, sounds, etc. Examples: NIIT, Kodak.
The TRIPS agreement offers the same type of protection for trademarks. Registration of trademark is issued for definite period of time. However, in order to avoid confusion, encourage competitions and protect the inventor’s good will, the registration may be renewed. With reference to intellectual property area, trademarks are national in origin and should comply with provision of TRIPS agreement.
TYPES OF TRADEMARKS
Words, symbols or devices that are not so distinctly distinguishing the goods from others are at the weakest ends, as they are common terms used to identify the goods themselves. These are termed as generic terms and are not protectable as trademarks.
Descriptive trademarks clearly denote or inform the specific purpose, functions, physical characteristic and end use of the product.
Suggestive trademarks do not at a glance describe the goods for which the mark is used; yet they rather require some imagination or perception to arrive at a conclusion about the nature of the goods.
The other types of trademarks include arbitrary marks and fanciful marks which are inherently distinctive.
d) TRADE SECRETS
A trade secret means information, which is kept confidential as a secret. This is generally not known in the relevant industry, offering an advantage to its owner over other competitors. Unlike other types of Intellectual property, this trade secret is fundamentally a “do-it-yourself’ type of protection. For engineers, inventors, and designers, the trade secrets are to be maintained secretly. Such trade secrets include some formulae, programmes, methods, progresses or data collections etc. If there is any improper disclosure or use of the trade secret by another person, the inventor may claim and recover damages resulting from illegal use.
TRIPS agreements offer the protection for trade secrets under the heading ‘protection of undisclosed information’. The engineer in competitive field should feel their responsibility and status when they make use of such trade secrets till its disclosure. If the information of a trade secret is available through any legitimate means and if any inventor is responsible illegally for such leaking, then the trade secret may become ineligible for protection.
Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is definitely private rights. If anybody uses the material without the inventors’ permission, the Intellectual Property right owners can use any remedies available under the civil law.
NEED FOR PROTECTION TO IPR
The protection of intellectual property rights is an essential element of economic policy for any country. Only such protection can stimulate research, creativity and technological innovations by giving freedom to individual inventors and companies to gain the benefits of their creative efforts.
It is a very important issue to plan to protect the intellectual property rights. The major needs are to:
- Prevent plagiarism.
- Prevent others using it.
- Prevent using it for financial gains.
- Fulfill obligation to funding agency.
- Support income generation strategy.