Trademark Bureau 'MYTKHUN'




The longer you put off
the registration of your trademark -
the more you jeopardize
your business!


In recent years an intellectual property is getting more and more significant throughout the world among all the other kinds of property (like realty, banking and industrial capital, securities, etc.). Matters of protection and using of intellectual property are nowadays playing a major role in commercial, entrepreneurial, manufacturing and foreign economic activities of enterprises and organizations of various forms of ownership. For that reason, anyone who is already involved in such business, or just is going to embark on it, must have a clear view of what the intellectual property is all about, must understand the essence of this notion, see how it is protected and what material damage can be inflicted by the infringement of its rights.

Intellectual property, protected in most countries of the world, is now one of the most powerful stimulants of the progress in all areas of development of the society — technical and scientific, cultural and others. Different kinds of intellectual property are protected in one or another form in many countries for more than one hundred years now, but it was only at the end of the last century when the important international treaties appeared, regulating the issues of protection of major types of intellectual property. Thus, the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property (inventions, production prototypes, trademarks and others) was adopted in Paris on March 20, 1883 and became a fundamental document in a general system of protection of intellectual property. It should be noted, that at first there were only 11 member-states in the Convention, while today the number of members is 136.

Another no less important document in the system of protection of intellectual property was the Bern Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works, signed in Bern (Switzerland) on September 9, 1886. At that time the Convention was signed by 10 charter member-states, now it counts 117. The third most important treaty in the field of intellectual property protection, also concluded in the last century, was the Madrid Agreement of April 14, 1891 «On International Registration of Marks», in which 46 countries participate now. However, a rapid progress in all branches of industry and agriculture, as well as international business and trade boom and exchange of the latest achievements in science and technology required the higher degree of legal regulation of the international relations in the sphere of intellectual property. As a result on July 14, 1967 a convention was signed in Stockholm to set up the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Due to the fact that the Soviet Union participated in the Convention, its official languages became English, Spanish, Russian and French (Art. 20 of the Convention). This Convention came into effect in 1970.

The aims of WIPO are twofold. Through international cooperation, WIPO promotes the protection of intellectual property. Secondly, the organization supervises administrative cooperation between the Paris, Bern, and other intellectual unions regarding agreements on trademarks, patents, and protection of artistic and literary work.

According to the Article 2 of the Convention the intellectual property includes rights for:

  • Every production in the literary, scientific, and artistic domain, regardless of the mode of expression, such as books, pamphlets, and other writings; lectures, addresses, sermons, and other works of the same nature;
  • Dramatic or dramatico-musical works, choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show, the acting form of which is fixed in writing or otherwise; musical compositions; drawings, paintings, works of architecture, sculpture, engraving, and lithography; illustrations, geographical charts, plans, sketches, and plastic works relative to geography, topography, architecture, or science;
  • Performance activities of artists, sound recordings, radio and TV programs, cinematographic works and photographic works;
  • Inventions in all fields of human activity;
  • Scientific discoveries; production prototypes;
  • Trademarks, service marks, brand names and commercial designations;
  • Rights protection against unfair competition, as well as protection of all other rights, related to intellectual activity in the area of production, science, literature and art.

    Thus intellectual property comprises two main spheres of rights:

  • Industrial property, which mainly implies rights to inventions, production prototypes, trademarks and appellations of controlled places of origin;
  • Copyright, which implies mainly rights to works of literature, music, art, photography and audio-visual works.

    Therefore, intellectual property is a materially represented result of mental (intellectual) activity, which gives to its creator (author) an exclusive right to it, protected either by appropriate officially issued documents — patents and certificates (industrial property), or by legislatively established norms of copyright.

    It is significant that in recent times the term «intellectual property» is quite frequently mentioned not only by mass media, but also in official documents and legislative acts (e.g. The Civil Code of the Russian Federation, article 138 «Intellectual Property»). As it was stated above, only objects of industrial property and of those of copyright can be referred to intellectual property. No other object, for instance plans of commercial, financial, entrepreneurial or other activity, can be recognized as an object of intellectual property in any country, even if it is represented in a fairly material form. Even more so the nonmaterial objects (ideas, conceptions, etc.) cannot be considered as intellectual property and hence cannot be protected. Therefore, attempts to claim that they are a property are illegitimate — they could become a property in the legal sense of the word, if they were represented in the form of work accessible to any third party, for example in the form of work of literature, art, public report, application for invention, etc.

    The forms of protection of intellectual property can be different: these can be exclusive right patents (for inventions, utility models, production prototypes), certificates (for trademarks, service marks and the like), registrations (software programs, databases, appellations of places of origin), and even the very fact of releasing of literary works, paintings, etc.).

    In all cases the creator of the acknowledged registrable object of intellectual property, whose protection is duly legalized (by means of effective protection document, registration, publication, etc.) has the exclusive right to its using, realization in any form, transfer under agreement (e.g. under license), etc. That's why practically all holders of protected rights to intellectual property are zealously keeping vigilant watch over possible infringement of their rights by any third party. They not only suppress such attempts (through judicial court or in some other way), but also claim for indemnification of all damages incurred by infringers (including the so-called lost profits). The sum of the indemnification may be very big, sometimes simply ruinous for the infringer. For instance, several years ago a major American company «Kodak» had infringed a number of patents belonging to other American company «Polaroid» and pertaining to amateur instant photo cameras. The patents' holder initiated legal proceedings, which lasted for more than ten years and resulted in a huge fine amounting to 494 million dollars that Kodak paid to Polaroid. Another American company «Hueges Tool Corp.» went bankrupt when a verdict was taken by court to indemnify 206 million dollars to a plaintiff plus court costs.

    So the issues of providing security of commercial activity against possible infringement of rights to all forms of protected intellectual property are of paramount importance under conditions of market economy. At long last these rights are gradually becoming these days one of the most competitive merchandise in our part of the world, they are very progressive, prospective and topical. Being smartly used they can bring highest profits on the modern market (both foreign and domestic), especially when they are connected with newest high-tech products.

    The question of intellectual property has another no less important aspect. The most useful thing is to learn how to timely discover objects of intellectual property in your production, developments and technology, not missing the opportunity to obtain a protection for them at home and abroad, in other words to transform them into the highly competitive merchandise on the market, sometimes extremely expensive and highly profitable when efficiently used.

    © 2002-2004  Trademark Bureau MYTKHUN
    Logo: Shumilov   Concept & design: GV
    P.O. Box 583, Main Post Office, Tiraspol, MD-3300, Moldova.
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