This article will help you to know all about intellectual property in Nepal, its types, nature, and scope.
Intellectual property (IP) is defined as the creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; symbols, names, and images used in commerce.
These rights are mentioned in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary, or artistic productions.
Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect.
Intellectual property rights reward creativity and human endeavor, which fuels the progress of humankind. Intellectual property in Nepal is governed by the patent, design, and trademark act 2022.
Establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The convention establishing the WIPO was signed in Stockholm in 1967 and entered into force in 1970. However, the origin of WIPO goes back to 1883- the Paris Convention on industrial property and 1886- the Berne Convention on copyright. Both were placed under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Government. Initially, there were two secretaries (one for industrial property, and the other for copyright). However, in 1893 the two secretaries united. United International Bureaux for the Protection of IP (BIRPI) became WIPO.
WIPO is a largely self-financed organization, generating more than 90 percent of its annual budget through its widely used international registration and filing systems, as well as through its publications and arbitration and mediation services. The remaining funds come from contributions by the Member States.
Scope of Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property rights include copyright, patent, trademark, the geographic indication of origin, industrial design, trade secrets, database protection laws, publicity rights laws, laws for the protection of plant varieties, laws for the protection of semiconductor chips (which store information for later retrieval), etc.
There is a conventional mode of classification of intellectual property as industrial property and copyrights. Industrial properties include inventions (patents), property interest on the minor invention (Utility model certificate) and commercial interests (Trade Marks, trade names, geographical indications, and industrial design), plant breeder rights, biodiversity, etc.
Nature of Intellectual Property in Nepal
Territorial: Intellectual property laws are mainly territorial and apply only within the relevant competence. The TRIPS agreement (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) has the minimum standard in its respective municipal laws for all nations, the IP laws around the world are not harmoniously united.
Giving an exclusive right to the owner: It means others, who are not owners, are prohibited from using the right. The creator or author of intellectual property enjoys rights inherent in his work to the exclusion of anybody else.
Assignable: Intellectual property can be bought, sold, licensed or hired, or attached.
Independence: Different intellectual property rights subsisting on the same kind of object. Most intellectual property rights are likely to be embodied in objects.
Types of Intellectual Property in Nepal
- Industrial Designs
- Geographical Indications
- Trade Secrets
Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.
Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.
Copyright does not protect ideas, discoveries, concepts, or theories. Brand names, logos, slogans, domain names, and titles also cannot be protected under copyright law.
For an original work to be copyrighted, it has to be in tangible form. This means that any speech, discoveries, musical scores, or ideas have to be written down in physical form in order to be protected by copyright.
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention – a product or process that provides a new way of doing something, or that offers a new technical solution to a problem.
A patent provides patent owners with protection for their inventions. Protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. For example, the patent for the personal computer was filed in 1980 by Steve Jobs and three other colleagues at Apple Inc.
There are three different categories that patents can fall under:
Utility: A utility patent protects the creation of a new or improved product, process, composition of matter, or machine that is useful.
Design: A design patent protects the ornamental design of a useful item.
Plant: A plant patent protects new kinds of plants produced by cuttings or other nonsexual means.
The term trademark refers to a recognizable insignia, phrase, word, or symbol that denotes a specific product and legally differentiates it from all other products of its kind.
A trademark exclusively identifies a product as belonging to a specific company and recognizes the company’s ownership of the brand.
A trademark is an easily recognizable symbol, phrase, or word that denotes a specific product. It legally differentiates a product or service from all others of its kind and recognizes the source company’s ownership of the brand.
Trademarks may or may not be registered and are denoted by the ® and ™ symbols respectively. Although trademarks do not expire, the owner must make regular use of them in order to receive the protections associated with them.