Intellectual Property- Evolution and Role

Intellectual Property- Evolution and Role
Intellectual property is an old concept. Although it is difficult to date the first grant by
a state of legal protection, trademarks are thought to date back at least 3500
years to when potters used them to identify their fired clay pots. Then, as
now, they served to indicate the origin or source of a product or service and
to distinguish it from those of other enterprises.

protection for creations of the mind seems to have originated in Venice during
the 15th century, with the grant to inventors of exclusive rights for their
the 16th century this idea spread rapidly to England, France, Germany and the
Netherlands as governments began to appreciate the benefit of encouraging
inventors to create and then to disclose their work, and the need to provide an
incentive to invest in an invention’s commercial development.
first copyright legislation was passed in England in 1709. This recognised
ownership of a literary or artistic creation and granted exclusive rights of
exploitation to the author.
for the protection of intellectual property are not static but change in
accordance with changes in technology and society. Today the situation has
changed considerably and a multimillion-dollar industry has been built around
the copyright of performances in videos, cassette tapes and compact discs.
Changes in technology create both the greatest challenges and the greatest
opportunities for the intellectual property system.
field of intellectual property grew rapidly in the 20th century with the
creation of photocopiers, radio, television, videocassette recorders, cable
television, satellites, computers and Internet.
has developed over the years, right from the medieval era. In Roman times, it
was common for pottery to be embossed or impressed with a mark, for example a
representation of a dolphin or the maker’s initial. Merchant’s marks were used
in commerce in Britain from the thirteenth century; William Caxton used the
mark W74C, gold and silver articles were hallmark as early as the fourteenth
century. By the end of the sixteenth century it was very common for shopkeepers
to erect signs illustrating their trade. Traders took to using cards bearing
their name and address, often accompanied by a device of some sort, an early
form of what we have today as business card. The
revolution saw an enormous growth in the use of names and marks in advertising
and thus modern trade mark was born. This marked the early development of the
modern Trademark Law. In the area of patent, the first recorded patent for an
industrial invention was granted in 1421 in Firenze, Italy to Architect and
Engineer Filippo Brunelleschi. 
The claim was that he had thought of a better
method for transporting goods on the River Aron. He undertook with the
Florentine authorities that to divulge details of his new invention he would be
granted a monopoly in respect of the exploitation of the invention within
Florence for a number of years. After this, any person would be free to exploit
the invention or introduce further improvements to the technology. Copyright
awareness on the other hand, arose with the growth of the printing press, and
the need for the authors and publishers of popular works to profit for their
task. In 1709 the
Parliament enacted the world’s first Copyright Act, the so-called Statue of
Anne. This Act established principles of copyright law which remain valid today
and have developed to the current Copyright laws existing in most countries. IP
thus continued to evolve over the years with the
of brands from indication of source to quality. Few strong brands today have
source and quality messages.
Coca-Cola Company no longer merely sells coke; it sells refreshments,
entertainments, amongst others. Eastman Kodak Company no longer merely sells
film; it sells a “Kodak moment”
marks have become hugely informative “data clusters” This is a new age, the age
of information, moving from the industrial age and its source/quality based

the evolution of brand signals from source to quality, brands have become the
most powerful communicators in our society.