Essential Features which define Property

Irrespective of nature and type of property ie. whether it is conventional property e.g. car, house, consumer goods, material possessions etc. or intellectual property, there are certain key features associated with property:

Documentation

Irrespective of its nature, commercial property always has some form of documentation associated with it e.g. Deed of Registration for land, Registration certificate for vehicle, Patent for Intellectual property or even a simple Cash Bill issued by owner of shop from which a consumer good is purchased etc.

Legally authorized government issuing agency:

Documentation regarding property is invariably issued by a legally recognized government agency e.g. Urban Development Authority in case of property, Licensing and Registering authority in case of Registration Certificate of a vehicle and the Controller of Patents in case of Patents. In case of consumer goods, obviously shopkeeper issuing a bill at first glance may not appear to be a legally authorized issuing agency. But the bill has certain registration numbers which are issued by appropriate legally authorized government agencies. Thus, indirectly, they control issue of the ownership certificate i.e. bill for purchase of consumer good e.g. TV, stereo etc.

Description:

Documentation regarding property ALWAYS carries a detailed description of the property which defines its location, features etc.

Ownership :

Name of persons/firms/establishments who own the property are always clearly mentioned in the document pertaining to that property.

Time duration:

Ownership of property may or may not be be limited by a time frame e.g. in case of landed property, ownership is permanent. However, in case of registration of vehicles or even patents, there is a time validity period referred to as "Term of the Document" e.g. in case of patents, term is twenty years.

Fee:

Property related documentation always involves some amount of expenditure e.g. registration fee, filing fee etc. Also, since the term is long, some sort of maintenance fee is also levied on account of expenses for maintaining the set-up to provide necessary documentation.

Commercial value:

A defining feature of property is ‘commercial value’ owing to the fact that it can be bought and sold. If it cannot be sold, it cannot have commercial value.

Memory Aid

Visualize the registration certificate (RC) of your mobike or car- it covers all features as discussed above.

Why are intellectual property rights important?

The fundamental concept behind all forms of intellectual property rights is that THE PERSON WHO HAS PUT IN ORIGINAL EFFORT, MUST BE REWARDED. This is to encourage INNOVATION and CREATIVITY, so that society can prosper and progress. If there was no mechanism to protect and reward original effort and creativity, eventually no one would want to make any effort and society would be the loser!

Illustration:

  • You put in lot of hard work and effort and come up with a very good invention. The moment you discuss it with someone, it is copied. You can neither prevent it nor get any credit for all your hard work. Will you be motivated to come up with new inventions?
  • You spend years writing a laboratory manual. When it is ready, somebody just publishes it and takes all the profits. Will you be motivated to put in effort again?

Hence, it is very important that adequate legal mechanisms are in place to reward original thinkers and innovators and prevent unauthorized duplication.

Mechanisms forIntellectual Property Protection (IPP)

  • Patents
  • Industrial Designs
  • Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits
  • Copyrights
  • Trademarks
  • Geographical Indications (Gis)
  • Plant Breeder’s Rights
  • Trade Secrets