Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, names, symbols, and designs used in commerce. It protects rights to ideas by protecting rights to produce and control those ideas. Intellectual property is divided into two categories. The first is industrial property, which consists of inventions (patents), trademarks, and industrial designs. The second is Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems, plays, films, and musical works. The innovations and creative expressions of indigenous and local communities are also considered intellectual property. However, due the fact that they are “traditional,” they may not be fully protected by existing IP systems (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intellectual-property/).
Intellectual property surrounds us in nearly everything we do. We see it at home, at school, and at work. No matter what we do, we are constantly surrounded by human creativity and invention. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) took the concept of intellectual property existing in everyday life and created a virtual tour on its website. The tour provides a broad, interactive excursion into the various areas of intellectual property in a familiar setting. Take a few minutes to find out how we are all “at home with invention” here: http://www.wipo.int/athome/index.shtml.
Recently, Imax Corporation (IMAX), the pioneer of large-screen cinema, has begun testing a prototype laser-projection system, based on patents licensed from Kodak. This projector is said to improve picture quality with brighter light. The system, which uses two projectors and incorporates Imax’s image-enhancing technology, will allow movies to be shown on screens 120 feet wide or more. The new system gives Hollywood studios and cinema chains another potential tool to keep moviegoers in theaters as competition mounts from large-screen televisions and Web-based options. With the additional “horsepower” provided by the laser’s focused light, theaters can improve the picture quality, and even show newer formats such as 3-D display. The company is still testing out the equipment, but it should be available at the end of 2013.
Recently in the world of electronics, there has been some issues regarding intellectual property and patents. According the U.S. International Trade Commission, Apple products including the iPad and iPhone infringe on a Motorola Mobility patent. In addition, it has been said that the Xbox infringes upon four different patents. If these statements are indeed true, the U.S. International Trade Commission will block Asia-made products from entering the United States.
Due to the fact that we just wrapped up our steel projects, I figured it would be relevant for me to include another news headline that I came across regarding problems with patents and trademarking. Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steelmaker, recently sued Posco, a South Korean steel-making company. Why? Well, Posco allegedly illegally acquired and used Nippon’s trade secrets. In 2000, the two companies formed a partnership and collaborated together on research, technology, and the purchase of raw materials. However, now after the issues, Nippon Steel is feeling the effects of the sueing, which are freatly affecting the relations with Posco. Japan is experiencing higher costs, and therefore is struggling to make significant profits in its steel industry (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-26/apple-nokia-hitler-nippon-steel-aig-intellectual-property#p1).
I always assumed that many problems existed with patents and companies stealing other company’s ideas. However, after blogging about intellectual property, I realized that more problems exist than I thought. I learned a lot through the different sources that I found. The main idea that I took from this blog was to always patent any ideas that I have in the future in order to protect the rights of me as a producers and the product as a whole.