General introduction to intellectual property
Intellectual Property (IP) rights result from a contract between the owner of the rights and the state. The national law determining these rights is a balance between the rights given to the property owner and the need for benefits to flow to society. You will be given many examples of this balance, particularly the legal principle and formalities that set limited terms for intellectual property rights beyond which anyone may use the invention or creation.
Governments can also, in some circumstances, permit the unrestricted use of copyrighted materials, for example, in education or the legal system.
All IP rights are also designed with a limited time, some depending on payment for maintaining the IP right, after which they fall in the public domain to be used for further creative endeavours.
Intellectual property rights are one of the fundamental rights of individuals. With the increasing expansion of inventions and discoveries, writings, and intellectual and cultural products, the scope and influence of these rights have increased sharply.
In addition, in developed countries, these rights, along with other individual and inalienable rights of individuals, such as the right to life, The right to self-determination, And the right to liberty, moreover even in the international dimension, the importance of these rights has gone so far that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) It is recognized as the fourth largest international organization affiliated with the United Nations. Also, the global regulations of WIPO are one of the main pillars of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
Intellectual property in Iran
With the development of information technology and the increase in the volume of trade in Iran, and the initial acceptance of the country’s application for membership in the World Trade Organization in 2005, intellectual property in Iran was found as an important position among lawyers and researchers.
On the other hand, over time since the enactment of domestic laws in support of global intellectual property and trade laws, the completion of these laws became necessary, and hence, drafts article of patents registration, industrial designs, trademarks, and draft article of protection of literary and artistic property rights, which was presented to Parliament in the first reading on 07/08/1386 approved by the Judiciary Committee – legal Counsel under the “law of patents, industrial designs and trademarks “. And Parliament agreed with five years trial implementation of that regulation.
At the end of the mentioned period, the Islamic Consultative Assembly extended the implementation period of this law for another year. The property as new or intellectual rights that have economic value and can be traded is the subject of a specific object is not material. These rights mainly deal with issues that are the product of human thought and are related to his mental creations.
In other words, the subject matter of this type of property is inherently intangible and is an aspect of knowledge and information that is manifested in the products of physics or their production process. These rights, regardless of any contractual conditions, recognize and prescribe rights for the creator of the work and oblige the members of the society to observe them.
In the division of intellectual property, the following two things can be mentioned:
- Industrial property, which includes inventions, models of useful objects (less complex inventions), trademarks and service marks, marks of origin, or designations of origin (in the Paris Convention of designations of origin and the TRIPS agreement of geographical indications as examples named industrial property) And prevents unhealthy competition, trade secrets, schemes build integrated circuits and geographical indications.
- Literary and artistic property: include works such as books, plays, poems, lyrics, songs, films, radio and television, painting, illustration, architectural, photographic effects, and copyright and related rights.
Intellectual property international regulations
Paris Convention 1883
This convention was written to protect industrial designs. The rules of which are divided into national approach and protection/priority right in the registration of designs and general rules that must be followed equally in all countries.
As a general rule, under the Paris Convention, industrial design protection is territorial: this means that industrial design rights are limited to the country where protection is sought and granted.
If protection is desired in several countries, separate national applications must be made according to the applicable national law and procedures (which are usually different in each country). For instance, if protection is sought in countries A and B, an application should be filed with the IP Office of country A and another one with the IP Office of country B.
Iran joined the Paris Convention in March 1958 with the passage of the Iran Permission Act to accede to the International Union of Representatives of the Paris General Assembly for the Protection of Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural Property by the National Assembly and the Senate.
Madrid Agreement concerning the international registration of marks
The Madrid Agreement entered into force in 1891. Under this agreement, nationals of the Contracting States may, in the entirety of the Member States, guarantee the protection of marks which can be used for their goods and services which are registered in the country of origin by filing a file for registration of such marks in the Office of the International Intellectual Property referred to in the convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization through the relevant office in the country of origin (Industrial Property Office in Iran).
One of the two main requirements under the Madrid Agreement is that the trademark should be distinctive and should not be deceptive.
Trademark Law Treaties
There are two other treaties administered by WIPO, which make trademark formalities more user-friendly by harmonizing and simplifying specific procedures. The Trademark Law Treaty (TLT), adopted in 1994, and The Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks was adopted in 2006.
The trademark law treaty (TLT)
This Agreement adopted in 1994 aims to standardize and streamline national and regional trademark registration procedures by simplifying and harmonizing certain features of those procedures. However, TLT makes trademark applications to and the administration of trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions less complex and more predictable.
Most of this treaty specified the formalities of the Industrial Property Office for the registration of trademarks, which are discussed in three stages: the registration declaration, the post-registration changes, and the extension of its ten-year validity.
The Singapore treaty on the law of trademarks
Singapore treaty adopted in 2006 has a wider scope of application and addresses more recent developments in communication technologies. Furthermore, the Singapore treaty is the first international instrument dealing with trademark law to explicitly recognize non-traditional marks, such as holograms, three-dimensional marks, colour, position, motion marks or sound.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
The treaty was signed in 2000 in Geneva between 53 countries and the European Patent Office. The purpose of this treaty is to coordinate procedures such as the requirements for submitting a sample patent application and the content that the application must contain.
A Patent is a legal document that grants an exclusive right to the patented invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. The usual effects of the grant of a patent are that the patented invention may not be exploited during the limited period in the country in which the patent is granted, by persons other than the patent owner, unless the owner agrees to such exploitation by others.
In other words, a patent protects an invention and grants to the owner of a patent the exclusive right to decide who shall and who shall not exploit his/her patented invention during the limited term of patent protection.
A patent document published to the public at large indicates the scope of patent protection and contains a detailed description of the patented invention.
The prominence of intellectual property
The intellectual property system as one of the complementary links in the development chain of countries has long been considered by policymakers in different countries. On the one hand, this system provides the legal security required by innovators, research institutes, and investment companies in innovation by formulating the necessary legal materials.
On the other hand, as a component of the national innovation system, it plays a vital role in promoting the learning process. Finally, a look at the experiences of industrialized and newly industrialized countries shows that one of the most important factors in these countries’ economic and technological progress is systematic planning to promote intellectual property protection because intellectual property has an undeniable role in Technology development.