Patent, Trademark and Copyright
by Bryan Harris, Director, PTC Research Foundation
Some inventors design for fun rather than for money; some writers write for pleasure rather than for profit. However, most creative people need financial incentives to carry on their work. For writers, inventors, innovators, composers, and artists, there are laws to protect their work and their financial incentives. Intellectual property law governs the rules of the game, with patents, trademarks, and copyright leading the field. As technology and communications become more sophisticated and their scope more international, the game becomes more complex. It is therefore left to a body such as the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Research Foundation (PTC) to carry out research into problems arising in this field, to compare the experiences of different countries around the globe and to make known to commercial firms, lawyers, governments, and consumers, the results of this research.
There are many ways of making the results known. Traditional methods of publication are still popular. The PTC Research Foundation makes available the research papers, which it commissions, and is planning a series of publications for consumers and others. However, the Foundation's principal contribution to the dissemination of research lies in the use of the Internet and the opportunities that are open free of charge to lawyers, business executives, students, administrators and academics, to keep up-to-date with developments in the intellectual property world. The Foundation's website (www.ptcresearch.org) contains the usual information about itself and its activities; but its main feature is the online journal, PTC Journal, and forum, PTC Forum. The journal summarizes intellectual property developments in a host of countries and is indexed for speedy reference, while the forum enables readers throughout the world to take part in a continuing discussion of the issues involved.
Instead of serving as yet another publication in the intellectual property field, the online journal and forum summarize and classify developments, point the way to more detailed studies and ensure that readers are fully informed about legal trends in all parts of the world affecting the rights and interests of creative people, and of the people their creations are intended to benefit.