Intellectual property

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"Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce."[1] Intellectual property rights are the rights given to the creator or an inventor for their intellectual work. Some of the IP rights include patents, copyright, trademark, design rights, protection of confidential information etc.[2]

In view of the invention of our company and the breakthrough in the technology I would recommend patenting the new chip for its protection against fraud. Patent is a right given to an inventor for inventing a new unique product which gives a new way of doing something or a new technical solution to a problem. Under patent right a product is protected from fraudulent use. This protection is limited for generally around 20 years.[3]

According to the Patent Act 1977 (as amended) section 1.(-1) a patent would be granted for an invention which is new, involves an inventive step and is capable of industrial application.[4] In reference to the act as our company has developed a microprocessor chip which can be used in advanced high speed computers we are eligible of patenting our product. A patent protects the inventor's rights and without whose consent the invention cannot be made used or sold commercially. An inventor would have full rights over the product.

In general for an invention to be patented it must satisfy a few conditions; it should be of practical use; it should show an inventive step; it must have some new characteristics which is not known in the body of existing technology; finally, its subject matter should be considered as patentable under law. Many countries have made things like scientific theories, mathematical methods, discovery of natural substances as not patentable.[5]

Also our invention would be protected by the copyright laws. Copyright comes into picture when an individual or a company comes up with an invention or a discovery. Copyright is one of the most important intellectual property. It is the right which prevents others from copying other's work. Any work that is original and unique and has not been copied is eligible for copyright. Some of the many things protected under copyright include literary works, dramatic works, musical works, artistic works, graphical works, films etc. In general if there is only one owner or inventor of a product he alone enjoy the rights on the product. Sometimes there could be two or more people involved in discovery, invention or design of a new product. In this case as it is not possible to find out who has contributed how much for the work copyright will be owned jointly by all and no single owner has the right to publish the work without other owners consent. Also in a case where a person is working for a company and has developed something new the copyright owner will not be the person but the company for which he is working. Also the copyright protects only the form of expressing the idea and not the idea itself.[6] This means that people can borrow the idea but cannot copy the way the idea is expressed in or the thoughts of an individual.

According to the copyright, Design and patents Act 1988 which is the current UK copyright law creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works has the right to control the ways in which their material may be used. It covers broadcasting and public performance, renting, adapting, and issuing copies without the consent of the owner.[7] Any act involving copying, communicating to public, distributing copies to public will be is considered as an infringement of copyright. Infringement of copyright is not considered in the cases where the work is used in order to carry out a non-commercial research, library use, education etc. Also if the user holds a license he is entitled to use the work. Infringement of copyright is not considered even in the case where the use of work is with the consent of the creator in the form of a blanket license or a notice. In case of an infringement of the copyright the creator has the right to approach the court and claim for the damage. There are a few common misconceptions regarding the copyright where in people indulge in infringement unknowingly. This could be because of lack of copyright knowledge or ignorance. Such cases include incidents where people think if the work doesn't have a copyright notice it is not copyrighted. One more common misconception among people is that as long as they are not charging for it and distributing it free they are not violating the copyright. Both the cases mentioned above are considered to be a violation of the copyright of the owner. In the first scenario even in the case where there is no copyright notice upon a work it is still protected by the copyright law. In the second scenario where in people involve in distribution of work without any charge i.e. free of cost is also an infringement to the copyright as the owner alone has the right to copy and even morally it is not good to give away someone's work for free without the consent of the owner.[8] In our case, our company Computational Systems Joint Research Institute has developed a new microprocessor chip which is in itself a break through in the technology and also that it is more susceptible for fraud. In this scenario I would like to bring to your notice the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 that was established to protect the semi conductor chips that are used in most of the daily appliances. According to this law a semiconductor chip and its design is protected by a copyright and any unauthorized import or distribution of the semiconductor chip product is considered as an infringement of the copyright.[9]