The States members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (W.I.P.O.) stablished at Geneva- Switzerland, chose April 26th to celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day. This celebration dates back to 1970 commemorating the date in which the convention that created the W.I.P.O. entered in effect.
The W.I.P.O. was created between 1883 and 1886, when the conventions from Paris for the Protection of the Industrial Property and the Berna´s Convention to protect the Literary and Artistic Works were adopted. The two offices merged in 1893 and in 1970 they were substituted by the W.I.P.O.
This International Organization has two main goals:
1. To promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide and;
2. Ensure the administrative cooperation among Nations in intellectual property matters established under treaties administered by W.I.P.O.
Costa Rica is part of the Member States of the W.I.P.O. since June 10th, 1981. The W.I.P.O. acts as a forum in which its Member States strive to create and harmonize rules and practices to protect intellectual property rights.
“Intellectual property” means, in general terms, any creation of the human intellect, hence the intellectual property rights protect the interests of creators by giving them privileges in relation to their creations.
It is divided into two branches: the industrial property (patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, trade names, geographical indications) and the copyright (artistic creations and copyright protection thereof).
The W.I.P.O. has international registration systems concerning patents, trademarks and industrial designs, which greatly simplify the process of simultaneous protection in a large number of countries.
In our country, the institution responsible for registering, and protecting rights in intellectual property is the Industrial Property Registry, part of the National Registry, which follows the rules and processes established by the W.I.P.O. for that end.
What is the importance of protecting the intellectual property? By inscribing your intellectual property, you protect the moral and economic rights of your creation and protects the rights of the public to access them. It gives the rightholder the exclusive right to use its trademark, or grant a license to a third party in exchange of a payment. Registering the trademark offers legal certainty and reinforces the status of the rightholder, for example, in the case of litigation.
In Costa Rica, according to the data provided by W.I.P.O., the registration of trademarks, has been increasing. In 2000, there were 4,282 registered trademarks, while in 2012, 6,841 were inscribed.
In short, we can emphasize that it is very important for the corporations, to have adequate protection and custody of their intellectual property, especially the trademarks. We must remember that the brands are intangible assets of the company and as such, require protection. Therefore, it is advisable for them to have a specialized trademark counseling, because occasionally money is invested in the development and marketing of a brand, without worrying about checking if it has a good registration chance as well to avoid future legal conflicts.