What if we remove IP from the world?
As a Strategic Trademark Office, we like to think about all the things that IP rights can offer us on this World Intellectual Property Day. As people say, you only start to appreciate something when it’s gone and this applies also to intellectual property. Therefore, we will talk about a world without intellectual property.
Intellectual property rights, or Intellectual Property IP, are rights that offer legal protection to creations and inventions. This makes them an essential asset for inventors, companies, artists and innovators. Think about copyrights, patents, trade secrets and, of course, trademarks and designs.
An utopia with a price tag
The flow of information in the IP-free world sounds utopian. At least for everyone except those who pay for the information. In this world, a company invests a lot of time and resources in developing technology, after which other companies are free to use the technology and to appropriate the proceeds of that investment. On the other hand, they can also take advantage of the developer's reputed name and distribute inferior versions. Trademarks and patents have been developed for this purpose.
The same goes for an artist who puts his heart and soul into a design or work of art, which is then copied and distributed excessively, with no guarantee of quality. Without design rights and copyright, such unique creations enjoy no protection.
Therefore, the classic argument pro intellectual property is that these rights are a motivation to innovate and be creative.
The patrons of the past don’t exist anymore, so living off creative or innovative development would be impossible in a world where one can't exploit IP. Today's society simply could not exist without this range of intellectual property.
From origin approach to defensive operation
That monopoly of information is often the huge culprit for those who dream of a world without IP. However, this argument is way less valid in trademark law, because a trademark has another essential function: origin recognition.
Think of your favourite soft drink brand and why you prefer it to another. In a world without trademark protection, you might stumble across 40 bottles in the shop with the same label with the same name, but filled with cola from different producers. If the local liquor store around the corner would be allowed to use Coca-Cola as a brand, without the US drink giant being able to call them to order, it would not be unlikely that we as consumers would pick the wrong bottle in the shop.
Besides being able to react against confusing brand names, a trademark registration also has a defensive effect. By obtaining exclusive rights to a brand name, you namely ensure that no one else can deny your use of this brand name. This way, as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to worry about it.
IP, the secret ingredient to success
In short, a world without intellectual property would be a totally different place. Creativity and innovation would come to a dead end and all the economic and cultural benefits of these rights would disappear into thin air. That is why Remarkable Europe is proud to assist in protecting these rights and supporting many strong brands, which prove time after time the value of IP!