How Intellectual Is Your Property?
What is intellectual property? It refers to the creations of the mind. This includes the following items.
Industrial Property: These involve patents, trademarks, and industrial designs.
Copyright: This involves the works of arts and literature.
Trademark: This is a recognized sign that identifies the source of a service or product.
Patent: This is an exclusive right held by an investor to an invention.
Trade Dress: This refers to the product appearance and design. This is protected by the Federal law and must be non-functional and distinctive.
Trade Secrets: This is valuable information with respect to an organization. The protection of this information is different from other IPs as disclosing this results in unfair competition. The protection of this information can last indefinitely.
Industrial Design Rights: In the United States, this seeks to protect a design or pattern. This right lasts for 14 years.
Intellectual property accounts for 20% of the gross domestic product in the United States and 40%of the United States Economic Growth. This translates to employment of over 55 million workers of IP intensive industries. On the average, salaries for IP industries are 30% higher, accounting for over 70% of the United States exports.
Intellectual Property Laws (US)
The United States Constitution of 1787 ensures the scientist and artist profit from their work. Initially, the length of the copyright is 14 years.
The Buenos Aires Convention of 1910 requires that a copyright notice be attached to a product. It limits the duration of the copyrights.
The Lanhan 1946 trademark act forbids trademark infringement, false advertisement, and trademark adulteration.
Patent Cooperation treaty PCT 1970, is an international treaty for the seeking of patent rights around the world, including 146 contracting states in 2012.
Copyright act of 1976 defines the right of copyright holders. It seeks to establish the principle of fair use. By this act, the copyright period is set based on the author’s death.
1995 Trips Agreement sets the minimum standard for intellectual property regulation for signing parties. Under this, copyrights and patent rights must be provided and enforced. This was signed by 158 participating countries.
The digital millennium copyright act of 1998 sees as criminal, products, and services design to circumvent DRM. It increases penalties for online copyright infringement.
The intellectual property protection and courts amendments act of 2004. This seeks to prevent and deal with counterfeit and copying of copyrighted materials.
The 2001 Leahy-Smith American invents act changes the United States patent system from “First to Invent” to “First to File.” It also makes numerous changes to US Laws.
Patent Statisitcs (2012)
In 2012 alone, 542,824 patents applications were filed in the US Trademark and Patents Office. These comprised fresh applications and the requests for the reconsideration of previously rejected patents. The survey also revealed the international PCT statistics. 194,100 applications were filed by a total of 45,134 applicants. From these applications, 146 were PCT member states and they were filed in 120 countries.
Top Countries Filed
Japan with 472,417 applications.
China with 435,608 applications.
USA with 432,298 applications.
The following countries have had significant increases in the application of PCT from 2011 to 2012.
Japan – +4,789
China – +2,225
USA – +2,147
For PCT applications there are various technological fields. Here are the top three fields.
Electronic Machinery has 13,293 fields.
Digital Communications has 12,616 fields.
Computer Technology has 12,391 fields.
Patent Litigation and the US Economy
With respect to the oil sector within the United States, over four thousand patents applications were filed in 2011 alone. This is an outstanding number. Between 2006 and 2011, about 80% of patent damages were awarded to address royalties. During the period under consideration, the median damage awarded was $4 million, on the average cost of lawsuit is between $1.6 and $3.8 million. The average cost of settlement of small business was $1.33 million over a 2.3 year trial period.
The telecome sector had more median damages awarded as compared to other industries. From 2000 to 2010, companies spend about $86.7 billion in patent trolling for companies, earning just $7.6 billion. Here is the details.
For US companies, patent trolling cost $30 billion, lots of dollars are spent to purchase patents retroactively to sue companies using them. In 2012, 62% of patents litigation’s were initiated by trolls, resulting in lawsuits increases of over 250% since 2011.