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Intellectual Property Laws Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 12th, 2022

Intellectual property laws have long been known to serve as market stabilizers. This function is especially achieved by getting rid of the low success rates for upstart companies occasioned by open systems that allow some people to use other individuals’ creations especially for intangible goods like what MoneyGram offers.

Intangible goods are generally viewed as an easy way for earning profits since not much investment is required in terms of physical assets as would be the case in institutions involved in production of tangible goods. Unfortunately, this intangibility has the drawback of it being easy for other people to reproduce the said intellectual creations without any limitations and in the process ‘stealing’ some of the clients from the initial innovators.

In reality, the latter would be losing profits and customers that rightfully belong to them. Intellectual property rules and regulations are thus created to guide and stabilize the market eliminating counterfeits as well as to encourage innovative business ventures. This stability once established in a particular market helps reduce the risk associated with innovation.

As long as rules are in place to protect the respective rights of the creator of a business idea, the more likely are his or her chances of success in the market. In the case of competition, these rules serve to ensure that the competitor does not illegally gain advantage by merely imitating the new product that has been brought into the market.

The Brazilian market has been secured by the introduction of vital measures targeted at ensuring its stability. Corporation laws have over time been improved tremendously with the major aim being the promotion of cooperation among stakeholders as well as safeguarding the interests of minority shareholders.

The Brazilian government has been at the forefront in the creation of suitable environments that encourage innovation of technology based institutions. Stability in such ventures however has been achieved by ensuring that the intellectual property strategies of the companies are well respected. This has been entrenched in the industrial property law that was instituted into the constitution of the country a few years ago.

Developments in the legal systems of the land so the introduction of intellectual property and copyright measures particularly for software. A recent proposal is what is commonly referred to as the Innovation’s Law; a legal measure that is expected to support the transitioning business strategies from paper to the real market.

The Brazilian federal agency for fostering innovation embodies rules and regulations that guide how intellectual property rights will be used in the securing of contracts. This means that the agency promotes full refunding in case a contract is breached. This is particularly important for companies like MoneyGram which enter into the market without distinct goods to use as guarantees.

While presenting the idea to the relevant state authorities for approval, care will be taken to ensure that a proper valuation of the new intangible assets being introduced into the market. The risks involved while going into the venture should be minimalized to ensure that decent gains are made from the project.

Since Money Gram is already in operation in the country, the idea to introduce a multiple send currency remittance will be received as supportive intangible property to the entire enterprise. The ownership of this introduction will be on a third party basis and this is where the intellectual property laws will come in- to ensure that the innovators receive their due rights especially in terms of gains made from the idea.

Trademark Protection

The multiple send currency remittance feature that is set to be included to the Money Gram program is an independent and autonomous feature. It can therefore stand on its own as a subsidiary under the whole company and will therefore need to have identity features unique to it that will be used to distinguish it from other services offered by the company as well as competitors.

A trademark needs to be registered for this service and this will include features such as the name of the service, a special logo created to distinguish the service, colors designated to be used in the logo. All these have to be registered in compliance with rules applicable within the country.

When filing a trademark in Brazil, it is worth noting that the Industrial Property Law 9279/96 gives innovators the right to withhold information on what they intend to do with the trademark; at least until the time of registration (Garland, 1979). This is very important as it will ensure that intellectual property rights are respected by eliminating the situations that could lead to an individual’s idea being used elsewhere without his/her knowledge.

The Brazilian property law also generally ensures that the first person to file the logo gets full rights to use it. However, article 129(1) allows for the individual who has been using a particular logo (or one similar to it) in good faith for a period of at least six months to have first priority (Gadbaw, & Richards, 1988).

Once a trademark application has been filed, and a legally accepted analysis conducted, the trademark (logo or symbol) is posted on the bulletin board for a period of not less than two months. This will give a chance to anybody that would be willing to challenge the application a period of 60 days in which to present their contention.

If such contention is filed, it is once again posted on the bulletin board and the applicant is once again given a period of 60 days in which to respond to the opposition. If the answer submitted by the applicant is not satisfactory, the application will be turned down and the applicant allowed a further 60 days in which to submit an appeal. If an appeal is not filed within the stipulated time, the application is regarded as abandoned and the decision to reject it stands.

On the other hand, if no contention for the trademark after the application has been posted on the bulletin board for a period of 60 days, a notice is posted on the board to alert the applicant that he or she has a period of 60 days in which to clear the issuance fees. If these fees are not paid within the specified time, the application is declared abandoned and is not allowed to pass through.

Should the fees be paid on time, the final consenting authority allowing for registration is published. In a period not exceeding 180 days, the opposing parties are allowed to seek nullification of registration.

Once a trademark has been registered, it is associated to the person who registered for a period of ten years after which he or she is required to register afresh. If the trademark is not in use for a period of more than five consecutive years, it can be cancelled and therefore anyone willing to use it can file an application (Abbott, Cottier, & Gurry, 1999).

Once the relevant procedures seeking approval to commence delivery of the service have been cleared, a creative panel will be sought to come up with a unique trademark for the new feature of the Money Gram services and the appropriate registration procedures followed to consolidate its legality.

Point of sale software

As a new service within the MoneyGram franchise, the multiple send currency remittance feature will need the installation of new software to support its operation. These are programs that will basically support the transfer of various kinds of currencies from the same point without necessarily requiring for the service provider to go through rigorous currency exchange computations.

Since Moneygram already uses DeltaWorks software alongside Agent connect, it will not make much business sense to purchase them again. Instead an upgrade of the existing software is recommended in the various Agent locations. Computer programming service providers and software developers will be contracted to come up with additional software that can either be used alongside DeltWorks and AgentConnect software or if necessary integrated into the two.

These software should have the capability to record an in-depth inventory of all the transactions made on the system as well as being easy enough for the average user in an agent location to perform these transactions effectively. The point of sale software to be used should be installed in both sender locations and on the receiver side in order to provide for accountability.

It would actually not make sense to have the sender transfer funds in one currency only for the transaction to be halted because the recipient has no capacity to handle completion of the funds transfer.

The good thing about this product is that it does not involve the selling of tangible goods or clearly visible services. This means that the software which enables the transaction is most likely the only software needed at the point of sale.

Elaborate software for analyzing the performance of the product in the market and analyzing the profits made in a given time will not be required at the point of sale and most of these functions will be studied at the head office of the company.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

The service to be introduced into the MoneyGram franchise particularly in Brazil has the primary strength of being completely new in the country. None of the competing companies offering money transfer services in Brazil have implemented a multiple send currency remittance feature in their service.

This will make Money Gram a pioneer hence providing for the chance to not only secure clientele, but to also maintain customer loyalty in case competition emerges in future. Another strength of this service and probably the more reason why it is bound to receive accreditation from MoneyGram is that it seeks to complement the services already being provided by the company.

This service is also bound to be very attractive to regular users of money transfer services; most of whom have to undergo strenuous currency exchange procedures before transfers are made.

Sometimes a lot of money is deducted from what they original had in order to pay for the exchange service (Terry, 2005). Aside from increasing the revenue earned by MoneyGram international, this service will make the company a competitive giant in the region.

Weaknesses

The main weakness of this service is that it is not the kind of product that yields profits immediately. The cost of setting up the new systems may be slightly on the higher side and MoneyGram International may not be willing to let its systems be interfered with in the process of implementing the upgrades.

The project is also based on the premise that a lot of people are now immigrating to Brazil and the assumption is that they would wish to send money to their respective countries in the particular currency formats of these countries. It is however difficult to confirm that these clients will be willing to abandon service providers with whom they have established some degree of loyalty for an off-paper service that has yet to prove itself in the market.

Finally, the project is based on the assumption that the number of multiple send currency remittance requests will be sufficient enough to support the service as a self standing department of Money Gram International.

Opportunities

The opportunities that guide this service include the very fact that the migration of people from countries bordering Brazil into the country is on a rapid upward trend. This means that once the program has been unfolded, the new immigrants will find it the most convenient of all money transfer services available.

The project will capitalize on the newly introduced funding systems introduced by the Brazilian government to fund developing ventures within the country. This will help reduce the burden of funding thus giving the service more chances of picking up in the market. Unlike an exclusively start up company, this service will depend on infrastructure already installed by Money Gram international.

It will also initially rely on the current MoneyGram clientele to spread the word. This therefore means that most of the resources that would have been redirected to equipment purchase would be used to perfect the development of the project-a factor that will immensely contribute to its success.

Threats

The major threat to any new innovation is imitation. This will unavoidably present once the service has been proven successful, and competitors begin to see MoneyGram International as a company begin to ‘snatch’ clientele from them. The rules in Brazil like in any other part of the world are not entirely water tight.

They come with loopholes that competitors can capitalize on to create a remarkably similar product but change a few aspects and patent it as a new service altogether. Luckily, since this is an entirely new innovation in the country, the company can count on customer loyalty based on the assumption that an imitation can never be totally as good as the original.

As much as money transfer services are gaining ground in Brazil, so are banking systems. There is a very big possibility that in the prospective future most of the immigrants will prefer to directly transfer funds from their accounts to bank accounts in their destination countries. These threats however are not sealed and ways to circumvent them will develop as the service gets into the market.

Reference List

Abbott, F.M., Cottier, T., & Gurry, F. (1999).The international intellectual property system: commentary and materials. Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.

Gadbaw, R.M., & Richards, T.J. (1988). Intellectual property rights: global consensus, global conflict? San Francisco: Westview Press.

Garland, P.G. (1978). Doing business in and with Brazil. Brasilia: Banco Lar Brasileiro.

Terry, F.D. (2005). Beyond small change: making migrant remittances count. Washington: Inter-American Development Bank

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