Importance of Safeguarding Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Era
Trademarks, logos, artworks, symbols, inventions…all are unique to a business and typically associated with intellectual property rights. However, with fast-paced technology advancement and digitalization, businesses are constantly facing the challenges of protecting their IP rights. As innovations have become a commonplace in today’s disruptive digital world, IP portfolios built on traditional business ideas and models have the risk of getting outdated.
So, let’s understand the challenges businesses face in the digital economy and how to protect intellectual property rights amidst this.
Why It is Crucial to Protect Your Intellectual Property Rights?
In today’s digital arena, it is no longer about registering your brand or securing a trademark. The World Wide Web has made publications, business ideas, logos, journals, symbols, or any piece of information easily accessible to the public at large. Hence, businesses, authors, copywriters, artists etc. are facing the burnt. It is assumed that the data available in the public domain can be reproduced and this results in infringement of IP rights.
There is a fine line of difference between “access” and “copying” protected works on the digital media. Watching a movie on the Internet is not considered infringement of IP rights, but reproducing and selling it illegally is. Therefore, the key element of the law of copyright and trademark is to control reproduction of protected works.
How Digital Developments Challenge IP Rights?
One of the biggest challenges to intellectual property rights is that computer networks have transformed the economies of data distribution. They enable sending digital information globally, almost instantly and cheaply. As a result, it becomes less expensive and simpler for the infringers to distribute a protected work to the public in an unauthorized way.
Another challenge is that the Internet has radically transformed the economies of publication. According to this new development, anyone can become a publisher and have global reach. The remarkable variety of articles, documents, ideas, and artworks available on the Internet today clearly indicate that millions of individuals and businesses are leveraging this capability worldwide. This is resulting in an upheaval in the digital publishing industry.
As the World Wide Web and Internet became a global phenomenon, the data infrastructure and distribution system is running headlong into the IP law. Often people take some actions casually, such as downloading or uploading copyrighted photos on a website, sharing another person’s artwork without authorization, etc. This tends to violate intellectual property rights because they are making unauthorized copies of protected works, which displaces its sales on which the copyright owner has control.
Protecting Your IP Rights in the Digital Era
Intellectual property procurement and protection is the key to safeguard your brand value and rights, create distinctiveness, and address conflicts.
- Effective Monitoring: To deter IP infringements, top-notch brands prioritize in-depth monitoring of digital platforms, networks, and media. Using modern tools, it becomes easier to track the use of a brand, its products, logos & symbols, artwork, etc. on the Internet, including marketplaces, search engines, and social networks. This enables identifying fraudulent and unlawful uses, or one that does not adhere to agreed terms.
- Government Initiatives: As digital technology is getting more sophisticated; the U.S. government is implementing more comprehensive laws to prohibit unauthorized exploitation and access of protected works on the World Wide Web. Two treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are made applicable towards extending legal protection and implementing intellectual property rights in the digital scenario. Additionally, there are several kinds of IP laws that help safeguard unauthorized access and use of protected digitized works.
The Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) is also playing an integral role in spreading awareness and advocating effective enforcement and protection of IP rights globally. They ensure that the interests of American copyright holders are best represented nationwide and across the world. This is because IPE believes that IPR protection plays an integral role in the nation’s economic growth and global innovation.
The importance of protecting intellectual property rights in today’s fast-evolving digital era has become the need of the hour. This will help achieve improved brand reputation, business growth, and economic development in the long run.
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