Let’s begin by calling a Book, “A Book!” & not “Instruments that record analyze summarize organize debate and explain information which are illustrative non-illustrative hardbound paperback jacketed non-jacketed with forward introduction, table of contents, index that are indented for the enlightenment, understanding enrichment enhancement and education of the human brain thru sensory root of vision… sometimes touch” .. Credits: Rancho, 3 Idiots!
To be honest, I like simple things in life! Simplified knowledge is easy to understand, easy to share & easy to apply! So that’s the way things are going to be on PatentSKy!
Why are frequently asked IPR questions answered so clinically & insipidly on most online resources I came across?? Be it Govt dept websites or the resource pages of some of the best IP Law firms of the country, IPR FAQs are answered verbatim from the Act & Rules. It is almost as if reputed IP lawyers are afraid that their counterparts will question their ability to quote the full Patent / Trademark Act word to word if they use the basic terminology to help the commoners understand & appreciate IP!
Being an independent consultant who’s just started out, I am a keen listener to the queries that my clients put out. Almost all of the clients I meet are newbies in their IPR conquest & thus are really not sure what exactly is their IP & how can they protect it! (..umm also should they really protect it? I mean who gives a dime about it in India anyways..) Do they really care what the definition of a patent in The Patent Act is?
So, pardon me, but in my second post for the IPR un-initiated I have consciously decided to not throw legal definitions in your face, but actually put together some easy to understand facts on IP for beginners.
Here are my top five FAQs in no particular order:
- I have an Idea… Can I get a patent on it?
Congratulations! You have the first essential step in your hand (read head). Now, to actually turn your idea into intellectual property (like patents or copyrights) it needs to be either made workable as an invention or expressed as an artistic or literary work. My suggestion is work on your idea, try to further develop it as a scientific invention or an artistic expression.
- Can I patent my artistic creations?
Essentially, IPR which covers scientific & technical domains is covered by patents while those which covers the softer skills such as artistic or literary or performance skillsets such as paintings is protected by copyrights, designs & trademarks.
So, you created a first of its kind Electric bulb = Get a Patent! &
You drew an original painting of a first of its kind Electric Bulb = Copyright it!
- When do I get my registration done?
Novelty of IPR is very important to get it registered. So as soon as you have worked out the workable details of your invention (not a prototype), file a patent. And as soon as you are done with the expression of your idea on paper or canvas or recorded your new album, get it copyrighted!
- What do I do with my IP once registered?
- Having filed intellectual property is same as fencing off your property. So ideally it stops unwanted trespassers from using your property without your explicit permission on paper. So you can then carry on the use of your Intellectual property without having to worry about other’s claim on it.
- You can also charge interested parties to allow use of your IP by licensing it.
- Alternatively, filing the IPR helps in establishing & maintaining the uniqueness of your IP in the market.
- Filing IPR helps clearly demarcate what is your territory & what isn’t. Thus you have legally defined your own property by doing so.
- Monetarily speaking, you can sell it off whenever you choose to & reap commercial benefits from your IP.
- Finally, getting your IP registered helps you in filing legal suits against the exploiters & freeloaders & get protection in the court of law.
- Are the costs too high or prohibitive?
Frankly speaking, the filing costs are not too high in India, maintaining it for a lifetime is. However there are government allowances & mechanisms to curtail or keep the costs to a minimum. Always strategize well in consultation with your IP attorney to keep unwanted costs at bay.
Also you as the owner are the best judge of whether your investment in the IP is creating the value for you which you had envisioned or not. If the asset is not giving you the desirable value, you can always decide on dropping the protection.
I truly hope that my digression from the pedantic has paid off & the readers have understood what constitutes their IP & how best to protect it. If you still have more questions, pls feel free to bring them to my notice on the comments section below.
Lastly, let’s call the sales pitch, “the Sales Pitch”:
I am a practicing Patent Attorney & IP Lifecycle consultant and am here to provide consultancy services for your IPR asset creation & protection requirements. Pls feel free to browse through my profile & consultancy services section for more details. I will be happy to hear from you for your specific queries on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this space for more! Till then, Happy Inventing!
Regt. Patent Agent & Innovation Life-cycle consultant
[Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog & in my subsequent posts are free expressions of thought & should not be construed as a legal counsel or advice. Reader’s discretion is strictly advised before taking any monetary or other decisions based on the ideas expressed herein. The author will not be held responsible for any actions taken & subsequent consequences based on the content posted herein.]