By ReNard Rogers
Newcomers to the world of “intellectual” property, or creations of the mind, may find themselves overwhelmed by terms that seem more suited for lawyers than consumers or students.
But a basic grounding in intellectual property (IP), how it works and who it benefits, is easier than it looks — and it does not have to be boring or painful to attain.
A new website, Intellectual Property Awareness Basic Central (or IPABC), from the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, an independent non-profit, is an invaluable tool for gaining knowledge about a critical topic. In the Principles section, IPABC highlights that “knowing IP right from wrong is everyone’s responsibility.” That means everyone must do their part when it comes to achieving a basic level of IP literacy. This simply means having a working knowledge of what creator and inventor rights are, how they work and who they affect. Visiting the IPABC website is a good start.
Whether your ambition is to be an entrepreneur or simply an informed citizen, IPABC helps people to progress in their IP journey. IPABC is crucial for people who are in business or would like to be, because it covers the basics that can help an inventor, musician, designer or other creator to protect their output. Basics include the four different types of IP rights: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
IPABC is also very helpful to consumers who simply want to to do the right thing, means not purchasing counterfeit products or supporting those who engage in content and invention theft.
In the Videos section, “What’s IP Got to do With You?” showcases how a creator can protect his or her intellectual property from theft, without providing specific legal advice. Obtaining this information or “IP literacy” from a reliable source gives entrepreneurs a trustworthy foundation to build on. There are also sections covering Types of IP and Examples.
IPABC is suitable for people who just want to make informed purchasing decisions. As a citizen, sometimes taking a stand on not supporting IP theft, as well as on purchasing counterfeits or sharing copies, can be an important decision that affects businesses, employees, creators and safety.
Apple v. Samsung is an example of a design dispute featured on IPABC’s website where a company’s rights were compromised. Understanding the implications of this case can help newcomers to synthesize the importance of innovation and the consequences of non-compliance. Acting as an informed IP citizen gives people the power to support products that are in sync with their values.
The IPABC website provides a solid foundation to build knowledge about intellectual property and the many businesses, industries and consumers that rely on it. It features interesting articles and videos for newcomers and showcases key information from international sources. A Facts section provides surprising data about IP’s impact.
Value to Society
IPABC is a resource that helps IP holders of all sizes to be aware of their rights and value to society. It also helps students at various ages of development gain insight into a topic that has become essential for their future. In the highly digital world we live in creative thinking matters. Intellectual capital is today’s hidden natural resource that businesses and nations, including China, must have to build on.
Reviewing the IPABC’s website helps people to better distinguish the importance of IP and IP rights. This not only discourages IP theft, it helps protect the most vulnerable creators and businesses from those who prey on them.
Go here for IPABC: https://www.ipawarenesssummit.com/ipabc
Image source: understandingip.org; redbubble.com
ReNard Rogers studied philosophy at Middlebury College and has worked in sustainable energy and data management, where he became interested in how intellectual property works.