Intellectual property or IP refers to any idea, invention, or creation produced by an individual out of his own intellect. Today, the world continues to evolve economically and relies primarily on knowledge and technology, wherein intangible ideas and inventions created for human productivity and other advancements are generating into income and capital. As a result, IP plays a more important role globally now more than ever. In fact, more and more countries are beginning to treat IP as one of their nation’s best economic assets, taking its operations and system into the next level, promoting and encouraging authenticity, creation, security, and use of intellectual properties.
Before diving into today’s participating nations as intellectual property powerhouses, you must first be able to define the different types of intellectual property rights, namely: copyright, trademark, and patent.
Intellectual properties bear significant value to the point that it has become one of most businesses’ greatest assets. That being said, you can apply for copyright protection over these assets. After all, you have to give credit where credit is due.
Copyright [legitimately] ensures a creator’s right over his work. Works that can be considered copyrighted are literary pieces that involve writing, drawing, and sketching. Some examples include books, blog post articles, architectural designs, softwares, and so much more.
Trademarks are types of intellectual property rights given to a word or group of words, designs, or symbols that you have [originally] produced. Trademarks encompass brand logos, taglines or slogans, brand names, and a lot more.
The tiny symbol that reads ™ at the end of every word, logo, or tagline signifies [legitimate] protection over your claimed trademark. On the other hand, the ® symbol means that your trademark has been registered authentic. If you wish to have your business logos, taglines, or brand names registered and protected, you can discuss these matters with an experienced lawyer specializing in trademark registration in the Philippines.
Patent, out of all three, protects and grants rights on an even more intangible concept, which is an idea. Patent rights are given to inventors in exchange for public viewing and use of the particular invention at hand. However, here’s the catch: you can’t just file for patent rights over any of your ideas. Before granting patency on your specific idea, you must first pass all three categories, which are novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. Once you have passed all three, you may now apply for patency, but in your home country first before anywhere else.
List of Countries Emerging as IP Powerhouses
Now that you have identified the difference between a copyright, trademark, and a patent, here’s a list of a few countries that continue to emerge and develop as intellectual property powerhouses today:
About 40 years ago, not once did Chinese people ever hear the concept of intellectual property rights. Today, it’s China that teaches other nations more about IPs and all its technicalities. Despite China’s past reputation, today, it continues to push reforms and anti-corruption rules and strategies as an effort to improve and develop their economic stability.
For the past years, one of China’s primary concentration is growing more in the field of IP rights registration and innovation. In fact, China has developed a strategic way of commercializing non-Chinese or foreign ideas in China in a legitimate way, through intellectual property rights registration. Today, China continues to improve the qualities and features of its IP protection and law enforcement.
On top of that, most Chinese companies, investors, and innovators have filed over one million patent applications back in 2015, which is more than one-third of the total number of patents registered globally.
Today, it’s very much known that Korean culture is a big hit not just in Southeast Asia but all across the globe. This encompasses Korean music, TV shows, movies, videos, and so much more. These culture industries are all directly connected to copyright laws, which, as a result, is one way of developing and improving the copyright industry in the whole of South Korea. To say the least, copyright is one of South Korea’s topmost priorities in the Korean culture industry today.
True to their claims and principles, South Korea’s Korea Copyright Commission has come up with a separate team, which is Integrated Copyright Number or ICN, specializing in identifying numbers for digital copyrighted work such as the media.
Japan is widely known as the country of constant innovation and development, so it’s no surprise that they are also one of the leading countries that serve as intellectual property powerhouses. In fact, for the past years, Japan continues to innovate and develop their IP rights protection and handling through a series of measures and activities that ensure security and effectivity all throughout the process of intellectual property rights filing. Although, as compared to China, Japan primarily focuses on welcoming local ideas more than foreign ones. With that, Japan aims in prioritizing inventions and innovation that come from Tokyo-Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya. This is based on the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO’s study, which show the world’s invention and innovation hotspots.
To attest to that, Japan has been recently recognized in 2017 as the leading country with a number of patent filings from Japanese inventors.
Today, more nations are starting to benefit from intellectual property rights filing and application economically. With that, countries consistently perform efforts to develop, improve, and innovate tools and systems used in IP protection and handling to ensure accurate registration and prove reliability.