The Importance of Public Understanding in IPR Law

Intellectual Property Law

When people in public are talking about intellectual property law, many still think that it is a lawyer’s business. In fact, it is important for public to at least generally understand about intellectual property law, because it is strongly related to appreciation toward creativity, innovation, and originality. Plus, at some points, there are matters of nation’s pride and economy benefits related to proper applications of intellectual property law, since it mostly plays within the commercial and ideological context of a creation. There were many examples in which people completely disregarded or did not understand about intellectual property law, and made their works being counterfeited, illegally copied, or admitted by other parties at their own creations.

There was one example that related between nation’s pride and intellectual property law, which was the case of Indonesian media that reported about Giorgio Armani label, which had made a t-shirt line featuring a bird logo that was similar with Indonesia’s coat of arms, Garuda Pancasila. While it was true that the logo violated intellectual property law, the media featured statements from the President who asked Armani to remove the logo because Indonesia has its ‘patent right.’ This was a mistake, because Garuda Pancasila was an artistic creation and not a functional one, thus having a copyright instead of patent right. That was enough if we just wanted to grow the common understanding of intellectual property law, but not enough to present detailed aspects from intellectual property law, including the practical application of it.
When public is aware about intellectual property law, there would be a widespread security system against counterfeiting, illegal copying and plagiarism. People who are not lawyers or can take initiatives if they see any violation against intellectual property law, by reporting it to responsible institutions. Any people who use their creativity to create something innovative and useful could use their knowledge of intellectual property law, and avoid future problems when their works become famous or widespread. Mass media can also use some prior research before broadcasting any news related to intellectual property law, so that they will not feeding public with wrong information.

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