International Business Law - INTERNATIONAL IP LAW...

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1 INTERNATIONAL IP LAW Intellectual property legislation confers exclusive rights on holders of patents, copyright, design rights, registered trademarks and other rights protected by the law. A holder of intellectual property rights is authorized to prevent any unauthorized use of its intellectual property and to exploit such property, in particular by licensing it to third parties. Technology transfer agreements concern the licensing of technology: this technology may be protected by intellectual property in whole or only in part (sometimes not at all). When negotiating technology transfer agreements, it is important to understand what is protected by IP rights and what is not. Copyright Copyright is available in most countries to protect a wide variety of creative works including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, databases , recordings, films, and computer programs. Although the types of works that qualify for copyright protection vary slightly from country to country, literary works usually include such items as instruction manuals, novels and song lyrics, and artistic works are likely to include diagrams, photographs and logos. There may be different copyrights existing in respect of the same work. For example, there will be separate copyrights in the music, lyrics and recording of a popular song and a different person may own each of those copyrights. Most countries protect software by copyright, and may not be protected by a patent. How do works qualify for copyright protection? The requirement for originality in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means that the author must have created the work through the exercise of his own skill, judgement and effort and that it is not copied from a previous work . There is no requirement for novelty or , in general, for artistic merit . Even works which simply convey information or instruction , such as the rules of a game, would qualify for copyright and do not need to exhibit any literary or artistic merit. Single words or simple titles , slogans or jingles may not always qualify for copyright protection, as they are very short and not necessarily original (but may be protected as trade marks or by the laws of passing of). It is now widely accepted that copy protection technology and digital rights management (usually coupled with contractual restrictions on use and copying), rather than copyright law, are what is needed to stem the tide of online piracy of music and films. Originality For copyright to exist in a particular work, the work must be original . However, it is not necessary for the work to be the first one of its kind; the work may even be in many respects identical an earlier work, or be based on an earlier work (e.g. a translation). The standard of originality varies between countries. In France, for instance, a work is original if it is not the simple
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International Business Law - INTERNATIONAL IP LAW...

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