Previous research has shown that the protection of intellectual property encourages research that drives innovation and creativity. Intellectual property is a term used to describe creations of the mind such as artistic and literary works, inventions, names, symbols, works and images. Intellectual property is protected by extant laws and regulations such as trademarks, copyrights and patents which enable people to earn financial benefit or get recognition from what they are able to create or invent. When the intellectual property system fosters a balance between wider public interest and the interest of innovators, it creates an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive.
As I have mentioned above, there are different types of intellectual property. Understanding these various types can help our understanding of how intellectual property can promote creativity. The three types of intellectual property are copyright, patent and trademarks. Copyrights is a legal term that outlines the rights of creators over what they create or invent. Copyright can range from paintings, books, films, computer programs, music, technical drawings, advertisements, maps and databases. Patent on the other hand describes the exclusive right for an invention that is granted to someone or an organisation. The law provides the owner of the patent with the right to decide how or if the invention can be used by others. The owner can make technical information about the invention publicly available in the patented document that is published. Trademarks describe signs that distinguishes between goods and services of one form from another. It often serves as marks for products.
Combined, these different aspects described above regulates the rights in the creation of the mind (Mandel, 2017). Expectations are that when creators or inventors know that their creations will be shielded from theft, they will be encouraged to be more creative. There are numerous examples of how the creations of people have been appropriated by others who have taken advantage of those creators. Likewise, those how have had their intellectual property violated have initiated and won legal battles to reclaim their intellectual property.
Reed and Anagnostopoulou, (2013) argues that intellectual property is a fundamental building block of creativity. This is so because the laws protect creators with incentives to create and distribute their works. This enables them to earn a monetary reward when others use their creations. Through this, they earn a living and it gives them time to create new works. Whilst the intellectual property law protects creators, the law is complex and quite difficult to understand (Reed and Anagnostopoulou, 2013). This means that creators cannot exploit their works easily which then requires the services of lawyers which may have additional cost. This limits the benefits to only those who can finance creators such as the music and movie industries.
Mandel, (2017) notes that intellectual property rights reward human endeavour and creativity which holds the potential to fuel progress. Because creativity describes the thinking of new ideas and creations, intellectual property protects it as creation from the human mind. Mandel, (2011) notes that intellectual property provides the primary foundational law that regulate and motivate human creativity.
Mandel, G.N. (2017) Intellectual Property, Part V – Newer Domains for Creativity Research. Available on: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cambridge-handbook-of-creativity-across-domains/intellectual-property/A1210D2DC176C3BA009A749546DC2F5B.
Mandel, G.N., (2011). To promote the creative process: Intellectual property law and the psychology of creativity. Notre Dame L. Rev., 86, p.1999.
Reed, C. and Anagnostopoulou, M. (2013) Using Intellectual Property in the Creative Industries. Available at: http://www.creativeworkslondon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/White-Paper-Using-Intellectual-Property-in-the-Creative-Industries.pdf (Accessed: January 7, 2019).