The Concept of Intellectual Property Rights

Where there is property there is a right, where there is a right there is no property. The existing situation predicates an important predicament to the owner of ideas. His idea is unique if it is in his possession; the idea is common when it is shared. This predicament stultifies new ideas or sharing of new ideas. The arena of Intellectual Property Rights evolved itself from such a predicament-The need to honor the owner. Often we see compulsory modes of acquisition of ideas through drawing the boundaries of expression. This is evident from the number of patents filed by companies competing with other companies. The human element in such competition is often subdued. Maybe the brains behind the inventions are honored privately, but stifled publicly.

It is the honor element that needs redefinition under the present IPR laws. Giving incentives to the idea owners have been a problem right from the inception of the IPR laws. Especially in the globalized scenario when the ‘Made in America’ products are really made in India and sold in UK, even the inception of the product is difficult to determine. When a product is globalized, the chances of reproducing the similar and identical product are always high. Chinese markets are renowned for their larger than life imitations at the same time producing the best in the industry products are the perfect example for such predicaments. The level of intellectual supremacy which the Indians have been adored all throughout the world Eg: Indians in Silicon Valley, but in the IPR world often they are merely given the honor but not the title. Honoring owners with titles has a long way to go and with a high tendency of their ‘alter ego’ existing in some part of the world; where they are always in the receiving end.

The issue of alter ego brings into light different dimensions of the issue. The growing tendency of developing countries to open their market to imitations of a cheaper origin, maybe economically sound or viable for the consumers, however, the lack of a regulatory mechanism to check the quality causes immeasurable issues. A strict IPR protection clothes them with mandatory product requirements as to quality and quantity. Imitations can only produce a look alike and does not warrant quality. Often such imitations compete with the originals and coerce the public to buying the product. This has the effect of imposing on the consumers, a product inferior in quality. The health hazards associated with such products often are reasons for a big concern to strictly impose restrictions on such products. The developing countries are often lax to take measures upon such indigenous products owing to constrains. With a weak IPR regime, the countries pave way for low quality undermining the very purpose of IPR protection.

Madhu S