What Does Intellectual Property Rights Mean?
Human beings are the only living species in this world who can create technology and are distinquished from other living species by the sophistication of their intelligence. The products created by human beings are not only consisted of the products created physically but also include products arising out of ideas which are the result of intellectual labor and effort and which have creative qualities. In order to protect these products that do not have a physical appearance, legislators have granted their creators the right to prevent others from using these products for a certain period of time. Here, this intangible right over a product created as a result of intellectual labor and effort is called intellectual property rights. Moreover, intellectual property rights -just like other rights- can be bought and sold; can be subject to a license for a definite or indefinite period of time (as a non -exclusive license / exclusive license), lien, pledge, transfer by inheritance.
Why Are Intellectual Property Rights Important?
Upon the struggle of human beings with each other, the ideology was born; and upon the struggle of human beings with nature, the technology was born. With the effect of this struggle, humanity has entered into a cycle of technological development, especially the speed of which has gained quite a lot of momentum towards recent years since its birth. This development has inevitably increased the welfare coefficiency and quality of life of humanity. One of the most important factors in the increase of this prosperity and quality has been creative thinking products. As mentioned earlier, products arising out of ideas develop the environment in which they were arisen, both socio-culturally and economically, while influencing inter-human relations within this socio-cultural and economic development by their nature. In recent years, the current development of the countries, which host the companies, manufacturing high value-added products and selling them at a low-cost and a high price while protecting them with proper intellectual property rights’ strategies, has reached to an indisputable point today, and quantity of intangible assets/intellectual properties of the companies along with this development level exceeds their tangible products such as factory, hardware and facilities. For this reason, intellectual property rights and their protection are of great significance for our country, and for each and every country as well.
What Rights Are Included Within The Scope Of Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual property rights are comprised of both rights arising out of the work and the rights associated with the work regulated under the Law on Literary and Artistic Works No. 5846 (“FSEK” for short), as well as the industrial property rights regulated under the Industrial Property Law No. 6769 (“IPL” for short).
a) In the FSEK, the rights on the intellectual works as well as related and neighboring rights (producer, TV-radio, performer rights) which are fixed on a physical medium within the fields of science, fine art, cinema, or literature and which are bearing the characteristics of its author’s expression style are protected. Along with these, databases, compilation works and computer programs are also considered as works and are protected under the Law on Literary and Artistic Works.
b) Rights that are protected under the IPL are the ones on trademarks, designs, patents, utility models, geographical indications, plant varieties and integrated circuit topographies.
Can Mere Ideas Benefit From Legal Protection?
It is not possible for mere ideas to benefit from legal protection. Since the name of the law regulating and protecting the rights of intellectual products is FSEK, it is being observed that a false perception has been created in the mind of society as FSEK also protects ideas, since the word “Intellectual” is also included in the name of this law. However, this law solely protects the way of expression of the ideas that are fixed on a particular physical medium (paper, any digital medium, recorder/camera, photo machine, painting, and other similar mediums) by converting intangible ideas into tangible works, provided that they bear subjective and objective criteria that are foreseen by the Law for the protection of intellectual property as a work. For example, if someone designs the outlines of a film of which he/she wants to shoot in his/her head and tells his/her idea about this film to someone else, and then the person who was told the idea also adapts this idea into a screenplay by writing a script and then filming it with a team and communicating it to the public, the person who has given the idea of the film will not be entitled to any right on the film being shot. The same case applies in view of industrial rights, for example, again if someone develops an idea that goes beyond the state of the art related to a technological problem/that has an inventive step and he/she shares this idea with someone else, then the person who adopts this idea invests in this idea and is granted with a patent certificate by laboring over, the initial idea owner shall have no right on this patent. For this reason, people with the power to create works or industrial rights are advised not to disclose their ideas to the public or their social or business networks -without first signing confidentiality agreements for the protection of their trade secrets – or to make this disclosure to a very limited number of people that they trust very much -again, provided that they sign a confidentiality agreement- before entitling them with intellectual property right protection granted for both works and industrial rights.