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What are the pros and cons of patents and copyrights for society?

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Aditi Chandrasekhar

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Patent: It gives the owner his intellectual property right to use his inventions exclusively for himself. A license is generally valid for twenty years after which it has to be renewed. Patent laws in different countries are different according to the constitution. Through this patent, the owners get the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention.  

Copyright: By copyright, a person gets exclusive legal rights to use his original work for his purpose.  No other person can copy a part or whole of the work of the former on which he has got copyright. Violation of the act shall invite legal actions against the wrongdoer. The copyright may be issued for original works such as a book, a song or a computer program. In layman terms, copyright gives you the legal means to protect your work.

Both patent and copyright are very much useful for its owners, but every coin has two sides. If there is a merit of a particular thing, there is a demerit too.

Pros and cons of copyright:

  1. A copyright gives its owners exclusive rights to use his work for his purposes only. No other person can use that piece of work without the consent of the copyright owner.

  2. Another plus point with copyright is that it protects the intellectual property. There are many strict laws for copyright violations under copyright law. The wrongdoer will be sentenced to severe punishments and hefty fines.

  3. Talking about the demerits, the registration and fees are a significant burden. The amount is vast which creates a hindrance.

  4. Another main disadvantage is that it is costly for the owners to enforce the copyright as well.

Pros and cons of a patent:

  1. The most significant advantage is that a license gives legal protection to the owners for their inventions. The government, indirectly, gives monopoly rights to the owner for the design. This way, nobody can use the device in the market other than the owner itself.

  2. The patent owner when gets a monopoly can raise prices to extreme levels since there is no competition. This way, he can earn abnormal profits.

  3. The drawback of patents is that they are costly to acquire.

  4. Another disadvantage is that patents are for an only short time as compared to other intellectual property types. It is generally for twenty years only.

From the above points, it is evident that there will be cons if there are pros. But it is always advisable to get your works patented or get the copyright to avoid others from taking the credit and misusing it.


Vanita Manohar

Professional Overthinker

What is a patent? 
It is a type of protection which is offered to a person or even to any legal entity to have exclusive rights for the making, selling or using of the concept or invention and restricts others from taking advantage of the same for the given period of patent. A patent can be defined as a grant towards the protection for any invention.

What is copyright? 

A copyright can be defined as the collection of rights which is automatically vested to the author once he/she has created any type of original work. It is like an intellectual property that empowers the creator of the original creative work a special legal right to decide how and under what type of circumstances his/her artwork will be used. 

By the above definition, you understood how important both are and their contribution towards society. But there are certain pros and cons which we also must know.

Pros and Cons of Patents:

?    Once the work is patented, the invention will be recognized as the intellectual property of the inventor. It remains exclusive for the person and can control its applications. The invention can no more be reproduced, sold or manufactured without the inventor’s permission. Patent rights selling or licensing for royalties to any third party can be done at the creator’s discretion.

?    Process of making an application for patent and receiving of the same is complicated. The right of the patent will be exclusively for the area where you filed for the same. It is an expensive process.

Pros and Cons of Copyrights:

•    Copyrights offer several advantages compared to other IP types.  It holds a significantly much longer statutory life which will be calculated as the life of the author + 70 years. Owner is responsible for actual damages and any other additional profits which are enjoyed by the infringer, or for statutory damages.

•    The major disadvantage of copyrights is that copyright protects only the expression of an idea, but not the actual idea itself.

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