Today we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day! As a self-proclaimed “IP nerd” I never pass up an opportunity to talk about the wonders of the human intellect. Intellectual Property is defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization as “creations of the mind such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce”. That means that everything that originated in your brain and was somehow expressed, from that song you wrote in high school, to that doodle you drew in a meeting, is IP.
Most countries have their own legislations that define and protect the different types of intellectual property that are generally grouped into five distinct types. In a nutshell: Copyright laws protect creative and original ideas that have been expressed in a tangible medium; Trademark laws protect symbols; Patent laws protect original useful inventions; Right of Image laws protect a person’s right to control the use of their image and likeness; and Trade Secrets protect information that is valuable because of its secrecy.
Many businesses today, especially those in technology and the creative industries, are based on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property. If you think about it, from a company’s logo to the Coca-Cola secret recipe, most enterprises, if not all, rely on IP to conduct their businesses. As individuals, we are even more dependent on IP: video games, music, cellphone apps, and of course, films and tv series, are all intellectual property that make our lives more enjoyable. Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, Nintendo, and Playstation are all examples of channels through which we consume IP on a daily basis.
Most importantly, IP has played a center role in the economic development of many underdeveloped countries, as it empowers individuals to turn their great ideas into successful business ventures. UNESCO even recognizes those cities that use IP as a method of sustainable urban development. Studies in Puerto Rico show the importance of the creative industries in our current unstable economy. The film industry alone has proven to be a principal player in our creative economy and is expected to keep growing exponentially in the coming years. Animation, VR/AR, and app development are just a few of the new emerging technologies that are here to stay and keep growing.
Since joining The Sifre Group, I have personally met many awesome creative individuals and enterprises that use intellectual property as the main component of their business ventures. So, cheers to all of our cool IP-producing clients and friends!
Find out more about IP and its powerful impact in the following links: