• Oishika Banerji

Does Lockdown’20 Call For Safeguarding Of Intellectual Property Rights?


COVID-19 has been way more than any pandemic we human can ever imagine. This is because this pandemic has made us realize certain basic things that play a significant role in our daily lives which gets shadowed by the other chaos of our lives. To talk from the very basic, it is the human rights that have received much-needed attention as many scholars claim that the lockdown has called for the protection of human rights like never before. As we wrack our brains discussing human rights, the other thing that needs a significant validation being a part of the broad term of human rights is intellectual property rights. As the world adopts social distancing and lockdown as the only two means to face this pandemic, there came a call for a complete shutdown of everything in the world. Taking the same into consideration, the Intellectual Property Registry of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission called for a suspension of all kinds of operation. The issue that revolves around the closure of operation is that whatever creativity, innovation, or invention taking place during the lockdown, will not be getting the scope to regulate intellectual property rights thereby making ways for the skills to flow down the drain.


The lockdown has proved out to be fruitful in a lot many ways. The usage of Artificial Intelligence in creating new products is something that needs a detailed view. Some of the developed products during the lockdown include screening apps, masks with a coating of antivirus, ventilators. Due to the absence of getting these products registered, the owners will not be subjected to enjoyment from the commercialization of these products after the lockdown with a new normal opens. Further, it is also true that after the lockdown opens and the world tries to fit in the new structure, the usage of these inventions will reduce also compared to what they are being now. Safeguarding of the intellectual property rights of an inventor of an object is necessary and cannot be subjected to delays because of whatever reasons it may be. Alternative means that extend help to protect these rights are available mostly in the form of exceptions to the already exiting statutes of intellectual property. A glance over the alternative means can be carried out by referring to the table provided below.


If we analyze the tabular representation as provided above, the two inference that can be drawn are:

  1. Registration is mandatory for claiming intellectual property rights and there is no best alternative for the same.

  2. The lockdown has increased the burden of safeguarding the intellectual property rights upon the creators, inventors, and the owners of the idea, product, and items and therefore taking the risk to make their object familiar to the public in general rests completely on their thinking ability.


To bring this short opinion to the conclusion, it must be said that lockdown'20 has increased the awareness among the intellectual property rights holders about the security of their rights and their products. This has been an overwhelming lesson for those who develop an allergy towards registration of their creations as well as for those who do want to be legally entitled but lack the knowledge of reaching out to the correct place. To not let their inventions and creations go in vain, the right holders should be involved in self reasoning to judge as to what

the move is supposed to be adapted during these abnormal times to remain normal and safe in terms of heath as well as creations.


Reference:

  1. Sara-Jane Pluke and Tatenda Nhemachena, Protecting intellectual property during the lockdown, 13th June 2020, 10:52 PM, https://www.golegal.co.za/protecting-intellectual-property-lockdown/


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