INTERNATIONAL IP LAW
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 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
. There is
no requirement for novelty
, 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.
For copyright to exist in a particular work, the work must be
. 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