6 Vital Reasons Intellectual Property Should Be Legally Protected

6 Vital Reasons Intellectual Property Should Be Legally Protected

Like the rudder of a ship, the smallest things are often the most important. Intellectual property is no different. There is nothing more valuable than proprietary information in our world. A corporation’s trade secrets, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are key factors that determine its success. Let’s consider the top 6 reasons why it must be protected below.

1: Protection Sustains Fair Economics

Consumers are extremely sensitive to budgeting their money and purchasing the products they believe to be the best deal. If a business establishes itself and invests substantial sums in catering to the needs of a particular market segment, any infringement on its intellectual property rights can bankrupt it.

It would be devastating to let other businesses encroach on success by simply copying trademarks or replicating products and ideas. Infringement increases the supply of a particular product or service and destroys the delicate economic balance of supply and demand.

2: Trademarks Establish Trust

When a company produces a trademark, that seal of quality comforts consumers. A trademark represents defined quality standards as a guarantee of customer satisfaction. Consumers count on the consistency of certain brands and value trademarks as a clear method of identification. For much of history, commoners were illiterate and relied on symbols to define businesses.

3: Protection Fosters Creativity

If artists and inventors cannot protect their creative work with law, then the economics of investing their time in creative projects doesn’t make sense. Intellectual property protection fosters the growth of creative industries and rewards talented individuals who dedicate themselves to artistic trades.

4: Protection Attracts Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists value most companies by the proprietary value of their patents, copyrights, and trademarks. These wise investors know that even the best ideas are worthless if the established competitors can lawfully swoop in and flood the market with knockoffs. Without venture capitalists, a lot of innovative inventions and ideas would never meet the market because banks are more conservative in their lending practices.

5: Protection Makes Licensing Possible

If intellectual property was not protected, then it would be impossible for many licensing agreements. Licensing agreements allow the owner of a patent, copyright, or trademark to define the parameters of how their intellectual property may be used, often for compensation based on the volume of use or a flat rate. Licensing allows artists and inventors to easily contribute their beneficial ideas to society for fair compensation.

6: Protection Makes Collaboration Possible

Beyond licensing, collaboration is also possible when various ideas are combined to create new products and services. The quality of these collaborative works would greatly suffer if the individual rights holders lacked protection and everything was covered under fair use.

A limit on intellectual property is needed, however, to prevent outdated intellectual property from becoming too expensive to repurpose. To prevent intellectual rights from making collaboration prohibitively expensive, the public domain exception exists to allow fair use after the artist has recouped his investment.

In the U.S., copyrights fall within the public domain exception once seven decades have passed from the artist’s death. Patents are generally protected for up to twenty years after the original patent was issued. A trademark, by contrast, may be renewed perpetually to protect the brand forever.