Traditional Intellectual Property Rights v/s Open Source Initiatives

Article by: Dhairya Shah

Traditional Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property is aimed to protect and grant additional rights out to the inventors and creators. The main purpose behind such rights and laws was to empower innovation and keep a strict eye over forging. This has provided benefits to lots of inventors in different ways. There are economic and moral gains from these laws. The entire intellectual property structure has three legs namely copyright, patent and trademark. These three protect the art pieces and artist in all the watts possible. They also provide benefits to those who use the artworks or inventions under certain norms and T&C. Such rights give a timely monopoly to the inventors. The time frame is limited but sufficient to get desired economic gain from the same. These laws are applicable and found in almost all the segments of work. They cover the entertainment segment, consumer goods segments, pharma segment, book publishing and artistic works etc. Now let's have an understanding about the patents, copyrights and trademarks.


They are associated with the commercial gains of the inventors in major cases. The inventors often get rewards through royalties, sales or partnership. This gives the commercialization and aisles rights to the inventors. The invention made by a person is then sold to the corporations for a given price or condition of payment beforehand which is mass produced and in turn reaches the end consumer at lower costs.

For example :- Let's consider the medicinal business. If a company or a lab or a scientist produces a drug that cures diabetes. The entity may provide the formula for a greater good of people. This would boost up the production and also provide constant royalties to the person or entity who invented the same. Thus benefiting the investors in a financial way and also giving the power to give away technology to the ones they want to.


This refers majorly to the identification of a firm’s entity. The trademark procedure consists of Five stages or steps. They are :- method adaptation stage, name finalizing stage, Logo creation and finalisation, preparing a company slogan based on the motive of the firm’s work or its USP, the process for submitting the trademark application.

The trademarks are generally referred for creation of a brand name or brand image in the minds of consumers. Individual artists may not get value out of this feature much but it is extremely valuable for big MNCs and brands. This not only adds innovation into the portfolio companies but it also provides a great exposure for multiple fields of work for the companies with large workforce. There are various things that need to be considered before creation of a trademark. The priorities are not using explicit language, not using generic names or terms, not exploiting or targeting a specific class or race in the world, less usage of surnames etc.


This is majorly referred to to the art works and unique original works by artists. The people who create some artistic work or writings for poems get the direct copyright regarding their unique and original works.

A copyright includes two fundamental rights attached to its portfolio - one is moral rights and another is economic rights. The moral rights are more related to non-economic benefits. They refer to just limiting the spread of work and making sure that the content created is used wisely.

On other hand economic rights stress upon monetizing the copyrights gained. The creator gives away his or her work to people with restrictions on usage and access. This can get modified and again used by the creator into his or her performances or podcasts and any other platforms. In this way the copyrights that are obtained by the creator for one work gets to other people for modifications. This modified work is later on used for monetization by realtors.

Open Source Initiatives

Open Initiatives aim to provide free knowledge to all the people. The inventors and artists reserve the copyright under this program. They distribute their works freely on the internet so that people can refer to it and modify the same. Also there is no restriction on usage or limitations applied on it such as intellectual property rights, in every sense it is a very opposite of Intellectual property. The one common point is people taking the copyright of their works for their publicity or recognition of their work.

For example - In google play people get lots of free games and applications to install and use as per their discretion. However the names of the company or the creator is attached with the application or games. This is exactly the same scenario. Free applications or softwares are the best examples of it. In fact Open source initiatives believe in promoting their work and softwares across as many people as possible so that more information or knowledge is spread across. The source codes are also distributed among the people under such programmes. The policy applicable is of no discrimination and no limitations under the open source initiatives.

The benefit of IP rights however always come into effect in this way as well. The creators or inventors never want to let their work go away freely. Everyone wants to monetize their work. This is why copyright forms a part of this system. The creators give away free licenses so that their movie of monetization and creativity is accomplished.

It is always believed and noticed that when everyone gets the same opportunity to get access to the data there can be crazy inventions and breakthroughs in the same field. This is what the creators on Open Source initiatives follow. They tend to believe in spreading their work so that entrepreneurs or other people could work on it and modify their work. They would definitely resent their brightest works but with copyrights anything that comes in reference to their work can be included in their portfolio list. Thus IP rights also serve a grand purpose in Open source initiatives. This way one can easily monetize his or her work by mentioning the copyrights and modified works. This would not only expand the vision of the creator and people but also give rise to a new level of thinking and creativity.

Is it Important to Have Common Grounds?

It is sometimes very essential to have open access to other people about the patented work or the restricted work, the simple reason is modifications up to an unimaginable level. It is always said to be the merrier. This can prove to be revolutionary in breaking every limit of changes and updation in any invention or art. Human brains are home to thousands of crazy ideas. Any idea which clicks for lakhs of people becomes a trend and everyone wants to have advancement in their field of work. Thus access from many can benefit the creativity aspects.

Also the monetizing factor is solved through Open source initiatives. The copyrights enable the investors to take the direct benefit from their work materials. However it is also necessary to have patents in many destructive materials that could harm some individuals or a class of society.

One very good example for an Open Source Initiative application can be IMAGINARY COVID VACCINE R&D. If we consider making COVID vaccine with the help of all the major institutes of the world then in less time more better results and more production could have been possible. Also the procedure for trials is quite lengthy and the vaccine approval has taken months if we note it. Thus in such times if we consider it from an Open source initiative point of view, the day Pfizer announced the first vaccine success every situation could have joined it. But unfortunately the patents and benefits of individuals were noticed and hence every company was aligned in the race of producing domestic vaccines.

It is always good to have such efforts but if the vaccine formulas would have rushed through every company, Pfizer could have saved crores of lives. Thus Open source initiatives focus on the same thoughts of giving away information to as many people as possible so that the best version of an art piece or material is created which could benefit the creator and everyone in later run.

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