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in law, a term denoting the exclusive right to such nonmaterial valuables as inventions, trademarks, and industrial designs. In the law of the bourgeois countries, industrial property is similar to conventional property in several ways: the patent holder, like an owner, has the right to dispose of the invention; the patent, like a commodity, has an exchange value; and patents are protected against infringements by third persons just as for any other property.
The concept of industrial property is most often used in international conventions and agreements. For example, the 1883 Paris convention on the protection of industrial property provided for exclusive rights to a wide range of objects: patents on inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names, and indications of origin or appellations of origin. The convention also included measures to stop unfair competition.
Exclusive rights to industrial property are subdivided according to the relations being regulated into two basic groups: rights associated with the creation of physical objects (right to an invention, right to an industrial design) and rights related to the sale of physical objects that have been created (right to a trademark, trade name, service mark, indication of the place of origin of a commodity; prevention of unfair competition). In the 1970’s the concept of industrial property also came to include know-how—secrets of production or production experience. The concept of industrial property applies not only to industry and trade but also to agricultural production and to the mining of minerals. It encompasses products of both industrial and natural origin, for example, wine, grain, tobacco leaves, fruit, livestock, minerals, mineral waters, beer, flowers, and flour.
A distinctive characteristic of the rights of industrial property is that they apply only in strictly defined areas. For example, the right to an invention or trademark which has arisen in one country is effective only within its borders. To ensure legal protection in other countries, the appropriate applications must be submitted in these countries to obtain a protective document. A number of special international agreements contain provisions to simplify this process and establish certain privileges for the foreign patenting and registration of industrial property.
In the law of the USSR and the other socialist countries the term “industrial property” is not used. The socialist countries participate in international agreements on industrial property and also use the term in bilateral agreements with foreign countries, for example, the agreement concluded between the USSR and France on May 19, 1970, providing for the mutual protection and use of the rights of industrial property.
V. P. SHATROV