Intellectual Property Protection in a Digital Environment
It is known that the protection of Intellectual Property encompasses a sum of prerogatives conferred to the author on his work, enjoying a constitutional level safeguard in the Brazilian legal system, among the list of rights and fundamental guarantees.
But in practical terms, how do we effectively ensure such protection in a digital environment, a scenario marked essentially by the availability of information?
Now, it is undeniable that the Internet has brought a true revolution to every imaginable segment of our lives, whether social, cultural or economic. Thus, it is essential that the science of law accompany the phenomenon of digitization, regulating the peculiarities of the cyber space – this new dimension where human relations take place.
The virtual universe implied in a great “dematerialization” of the works in a singular way. We explain: those that were previously concretized in papers, forms and objects, now have the possibility of relying purely on a digital support. Since the Internet is the vehicle of rapid communication par excellence, the exchange of data sometimes happens in an uncontrollable way, which certainly has led to an unprecedented threat to intellectual property.
However, there are several measures that can be taken to protect the author. Let’s view some of them.
Initially, it is known that the protection granted to software or apps in Brazil is the one typical of literary works, music and artistic productions, provided by Copyright Law. This implies that from the moment the program is created, producing concrete effects, its inventor enjoys automatic protection.
However, as a precautionary measure, the software owners may want to promote the proper registration in INPI (Institution for National Industrial Property Protection), in order to prove unequivocally ownership and originality.
Regarding the design of websites and literary works posted on the Internet, the respective assurance registration can be done in the National Library, located in Rio de Janeiro.
Another relevant question that can generate doubts is the one related to the domain name. It is known that the domain must necessarily be registered and, as a rule, it will belong to who requires first. It is also known that registration of the trademark does not guarantee ownership over the corresponding domain name. So the owner of a trademark will also have to register his domain, since it is not an automatic protection. This rule, however, has one exception: in the case of a brand of high reputation or notoriety (such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s), its owner will be probably assured of the right to own the corresponding Internet address, either by the Brazilian Name authority or in a Judicial Process. Owners of trademarks that are not that notorious and that did not register domain names also may guarantee the use of the domain name, but that possibility is less certain and would still need to go through a judicial process for that.
Thus, given the value of intellectual property and its importance to business, it is to be increasingly important to count on the due contribution of updated professionals in the contemporary world of internet.
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