United States government created United States Patent and Trade office to protect the private and government organisations from counterfeiting. Patent grants an inventor the right to exclude others from producing the identical products he invented for limited period. The first patent law enacted in the United States was in 1790 and from time to time, the congress has enacted various laws related to patent. For example, American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) was enacted in November 29, 1999. Thus, Federal agency charged with administering of patent laws is the Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent right in the United States are categorised in three ways: Design patents, plant patents or Utility patents. (Harvard). With present ICT-related inventions and changing technology, there is now ever expanding understanding of what constitutes human made products. U. S. and most countries in Europe is currently the member of European Patent convention. United States also enacted Copyright Act in 1976; the acts give protection to the authors of Literary work, artistical work, musical.
The protection is also available to both published and non-published works other intellectual property. The copyright laws have gone further to protect architectural design, motion pictures, softwares, work of graphic artists and sound recordings. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives copyright’s owner the exclusive right to do or authorise others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords or prepare derivative works based upon the work, distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.
The copyright also gives the right of copyright owner to perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works (Harvard) Additionally, the act also give the rights to the owner to display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
The right goes further by allowing the owner to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission in the case of sound recordings. In United States, It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law. Trademarks in the United States are generally distinctictive pictures, symbols or words that sellers affix to their products to distinguish their products from other products. Trademark status may also be granted to unique packaging, color combinations, building designs and product styles.
The purpose trademarks are to distinguish products of a firm from products of another. For example, the Trademark Samsung computer or other products manufactured by Samsung distinguishes products from the products manufactured by Dell. In the United states Trademarks are protected by Federal Statute under the Lanham Act and States’ Statutory or Common law. The first trademark law enacted in United States was in 1800. Another trademark law enacted was in 1946 and the law was recently amended in 1996 an infringement of trademark law is punishable by law.
(Harvard) Ccountries in Europe also have different offices to protect the Intellectual property and enforce the IP regulations. In UK, Intellectual Property Office in UK is to guide against willful trademark infringement and copyright counterfeiting. UK government has realised that the country is losing both money and economy knowledge from breaking IP regulations and business organisations are yearly losing money from piracy and copyright infringement.
Meanwhile, UK government has adopted various measures in the protection of individual and organisation from copyright infringement. Copyright office in Finland is attached to the Ministry of Education and the Copyright office in Finland is charged to protect and promote intellectual creation in its different forms. The office recognises the right of individuals to control the use of their works. The legislation guiding the IP in Finland came into force in 1960 under the Finnish Copyright Act (404/1961). The Copyright Act protects works of Finnish citizens.
(WIPO) Other legislations that protect IP in Finland are the Berne Convention of 1886. The convention protects the literary and artistic works of individual and organisations. Thus, Finland ratified the Paris Act of the Berne Convention in 1986. Legislation that is protecting the copyright in Finland was amended in 2005, this is to meet the demand of internet and telecommunication industry, thus the amendments to the Copyright Act and the amended section 49 of the Criminal Code came into force from the beginning of 2006. (WIPO)
In Belgium, Copyright office is under the Ministry of Justice and Department of Civic Affairs while the Ministry of Economic Affairs Administration of Trade Policy is in charge of protection of inventions, trademark, copyrights and related rights. Other office created by Belgium government for the protection of Intellectual property is Benelux Office for Intellectual Property. The office is also to guide against the infringement of Copyright, Trademark and Patent rights. To further protect its citizens against IP infringement, Belgium, government recognises the following conventions:
Firstly, Belgium is a signatory member of the convention on the Unification of certain elements of the law of patents, signed in Strasbourg on November 27, 1963. Belgium government is also a signatory member of the Cooperation Treaty patent and Regulations, made in Washington on June 19, 1970. Belgium is also a member of Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC), Regulations and four protocols, made in Munich on October 5, 1973 Finally, Belgium is a member of European Patent Convention for the Common Market (Community Patent Convention), and Regulations made in Luxembourg on December 15, 1975. (WIPO)