PROTECTION TO CHILD’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: A NEED OF THE HOUR

IPR - Eshita Jain (1)

INTRODUCTION TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Today’s world is full of empowering oneself with money. Earning money has become the main motive, be it by physical activity or mental activity. The brain has become a huge arena of business whereby with human intellect, new innovations are involved by virtue of usage of which a person innovates. This innovation is worthy of effort and expense since it fetches money or has a commercial value in the modern market. This very intellectual work that a person by his human intellect creates culminates into a right when the commercial value gets attached to it. In order to reap the benefits of one’s intellect, a person speaks of his rights. In other words, the creative art of the person is protected. Intellectual Property Rights can be treated to be a contract subsisting between the innovator and the world at large whereby the invention of the innovator is granted protection against the probable infringers by granting reward in the form of money.

OBJECTIVE OF PROTECTING IP RIGHTS

The basic object is to protect the basic application of ideas and innovations that are of commercial value.[1]The purpose behind granting protection to intellectual property rights subsists in the very commercial value attached to it. Since the usage of one’s human intellect encourages innovation and invention, there gets a utility attached to Intellectual Property protection. Moreover, in germinating an idea, there is an effort involved of the person who is the reason of bringing that idea into existence and there are rights conferred upon such persons who have invested their intellect, there emerges a need to protect it.

EXTENSION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TO A CHILD

Since Intellectual Property is not age biased, it stands in clear contradiction with the Contract Act from the perspective of minor child’s rights. If we carefully peruse the intellectual property laws in India, it is clear that the State does not inhibit a minor to acquire intellectual property rights in his favor. But when Intellectual Property is viewed as the cornerstone of a Contract, it is clear that parties to the contract must be competent to enter into it. In other words, as far as the intellectual property is concerned, it is clear that the age factor does not inhibit a person from using his intellect and with respect to that, even a minor who is a child can also innovate, invent and must ideally be claiming a reward. But this does not hold true in the case of a minor child when looked at from the perspective of Intellectual Property as a contract since, under the contract laws, a minor is considered incapable of entering into a contract.

INJUSTICE TO THE MINOR’S INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITY

Though a minor through his intellect can make an innovation, there is no use of such innovation since he cannot exercise and enjoy the rights associated with his intellect. The probable exploitation and alienation of rights can only be effected through a license that is not granted in favor of a child since he is incompetent to contract unless the contract stands a necessity. This seems to be an injustice done to the minor child since because of the conflicting provisions of the two statutes; he is being devoid of his intellectual benefits. Contract Act is taking away the benefit which is being conferred under Intellectual Property laws. There stands no meaning in merely conferring the property rights to the child without granting him the right of its enjoyment.

REMEDYING THE INCORRECT

This hurdle can surely be tackled if contractual laws are made applicable in consonance with the Intellectual property laws. It is not being said that minors must be allowed to enter into contracts regardless of their age and incapacity but there must be granted an exemption in matters of Intellectual Property contracts. He can be made competent to enter into Intellectual Property Right contracts by virtue of which at least he should be made capable of reaping the benefits of his own intellect. This will further help more minor children to engage in intellectual innovations and to come out with innovative activities. Since when a hurdle is placed upon the minor for not infringing the other’s intellect and use it as his own, for instance, in case of plagiarism and alike, there is no reason why others are allowed to use his intellectual work by virtue of not being granted any protection under the law.

CONCLUSION

For every economy, the contribution of the contract stands significant. With contractual laws, commerce gets influenced. By bringing an amendment to the Contract Act and making it conducive with the Intellectual Property Rights and bringing in place the minor beneficial laws for the protection of their artistic and creative activities, there will be an encouragement to the young talented brains to exploit their intellect and reap benefits out of it. Not only would this but it, in turn, favor the prosperity of the nation economically. Therefore, contractual laws must be made consistent with the intellectual property laws as far as minor children’s artistic work is concerned since it would do no harm but a greater benefit to the deserving.

Author(s) Name: Eshita Jain (Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla)

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