Intellectual Property and Technology Law Club is an organization whose establishment seeks to educate and encourage students to learn how intellectual property law impacts innovation, technology and culture. Issues to be discussed in the club include internet and technology issues, cybersecurity and digital privacy issues, electronic contracts entertainment issues, social media and the law, and proprietary interests in intellectual property reform.
In simple terms, the club aims at exploring Intellectual Property law not as a course but as a tool for a 21st-century lawyer in this era of technology.
Why intellectual property?
– First, the progress and well-being of humanity rests on its capacity to create and invent new works in the areas of technology and culture.
As long as man exists we’d continue to create and invent new works.
– Second, the legal protection of new creations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation.
When one is assured that his/her work as an author won’t be infringed upon, such person would like to do more, but where the reverse is the case, one would surely think twice before such person creates any work.
– Third, the promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life. An efficient and equitable intellectual property system can help all countries to realize intellectual property’s potential as a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being,
That is why countries like china, japan and USA don’t joke with their intellectual property system. It is commonly said that china is quick to replicate every invention and patent it to prevent competitionBut smart countries are quick to protect their inventions and if as young minds we are committed to this we can change the face of IP in nigeria
For various administrative and historical reasons, intellectual property is usually dealt with under the following main headings:
1) Literary, artistic and scientific works e.g. books. Protection of this property is governed by laws concerning Copyright like the Nigeria copyright act (Amended) 2004.
2) Performances, broadcasts e.g. concerts. Protection of this property is governed by laws concerning Copyright’s Related Rights.
3) Inventions e.g. a new form of jet engine. Protection of inventions is covered by laws concerning Patents like the Design and Patent Act 1970now 1990
4) Industrial designs e.g. the shape of a soft drinks bottle. Industrial Designs may be protected by its own specialized laws, or those of Industrial Property or Copyright. Design and Patent Act 1990
5) Trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations e.g. logos or names for a product with unique geographical origin, such as Champagne. Protection is normally available under various laws like the Nigeria Trademark Act 1965.
6) Protection against unfair competition. E.g. false claims against a competitor or imitating a competitor with a view to deceive the customer. This is related to the economic tort of passing off which we have discussed already in previous sessions.
Common to all of the areas are two principles:
- The creators of intellectual property can acquire rights as a result of their work.
- The rights to that work may be assigned or licensed to others
IP law isn’t a distraction from other laws but a compliment.
*200level* We are going to observe a lot of e-contracts and how it affects the intellectual property of the party involved. For example, there’s what is known as transfer of copyright, if as a company I want to run advertisements on Facebook instead of going to the artiste to pay for the usage of his song in my advert I can easily pay Facebook who in return pays the royalty to the artist. In this situation, there’s a contract between me and the artiste with facebook acting as the agent.
We shall also explore trade secrets and unfair competition under restraint of trade(contract II)
*300 level* knowledge of intellectual property law can help you understand passing off under law of torts, instead of us explaining using old cases we discuss trending stories which we can easily relate to.
*400 level* under IP law we have international treaties which bind various countries, this is where conflict of laws comes in as some treaties may be contrary to national law. If you want to widen your scope beyond national law, conflict of law is important and a club where we have a lot of international treaties it would be easy for us to relate.
*500level company law*: every company have both tangible and intangible assets (where intellectual property comes in) you should know at what point to have your company registered under CAC, trademark registration and domain name registration. Knowledge of remedies is important incase of infringement.