Intellectual property is a term used to define a collection of several different creations of the mind that carry certain protections or exclusive rights granted to the owner or creator. Many intellectual property rights protect creations such as music, artistic works, literary works, discoveries, engineering designs, and inventions including technological advances. The protective property rights granted to these creations include, but are not limited to, copyrights, trademarks and patents; each of which are designed to protect the creating individual or companies’ rights to supply or prevent unwanted usage and distribution.
Technological advances and breakthroughs are considered intellectual property and are, therefore, protected by some form of property rights. Protection of intellectual property rights in the form of technology is a long argued topic due to the impact technological advances has on society at large. Each and every individual is in some way reliant on modern technological advances either in the form of computer software, data communications or medical research. The argument against protecting intellectual property rights in technology claims that the important of technology in every individual’s life makes the free-flow of innovation more important than protecting one individual or firm’s ownership rights. On the other hand, without said protections, the argument is made that individuals are simply unmotivated to create and; therefore, intellectual property rights are the cornerstone for encouraging technological advancement.
Similarly, free business enterprise is lifeblood of technological innovation and advancement for a number of reasons.
Enterprise is based on profit, which is obtained through advancement and technological breakthrough. Without a firm’s ability to maintain ownership, and therefore profitability, rights then no company would have the encouragement to innovate. Research and development is a costly and time consuming function in any business market; one that can often bring major returns when a firm accomplishes a technological advancement that is well received by consumers or the industry. However, if the firm was not allowed ownership rights, the advancement would bring the industry satisfaction but not the creator. It is for this reason that individuals and firms so vehemently strive to protect their individual interest in their creations.