Intellectual rights are a new legal issue which has been introduced into the laws of the countries and is originated from personal commercial, scientific, literary and artistic activities and innovations of individuals. It consists of two parts of industrial ownership and literary and artistic ownership. Industrial ownership consists of patents, industrial and commercial logos, industrial designs and geographical signs, while literary and artistic ownership consists of authors’ rights, copyright, artists, and computer software creators and subsidiary rights such as audiovisual copyright of works.
Concepts concerning Intellectual Property
There are different definitions for intellectual property rights, but it can be said that: “intellectual property rights are a new legal concept which determine how to support and use humans’ creations and creative thinking.”
One of the experts defines intellectual property rights as: “Rights which allow the owner the permission to restrict the benefits determine a particular form of exploitation of human thoughts and activities.”
It can also be asserted that: “In a general sense, intellectual property rights refer to the rights resulting from creations and intellectual creativity in scientific, commercial, literary, and artistic fields.” Others believe that: “Intellectual property rights provide the owner of the work, the sole right of copy making, and other applications of the creative work, for a limited period of time.” 
In general, this right refers to: “A collection of rules and regulations which determines the scope of a work or the mode of action of an activity in a country. More broadly, these rules and regulations determine which people have this kind of right and in a period of time, until when they are entitled to this right. Moreover, it determines the limits and regulations concerning its execution and transfer.”
In conclusion, it can be said that intellectual property rights are “a collection of rules and regulations initiated by humans’ thought, creativity, and innovation and has an economic value and can also be traded. In this regard, some material rights restricted to time and provides permanent intellectual rights to its creator.”
Investigating intellectual (moral) property rights present in Iran’s rules and regulations
A geographical sign is a symbol specific to products which arise from a certain location because that place has a certain quality or reputation. A symbol is considered a geographical sign which has a special meaning for the consumers and the specific regions. Using geographical signs is very popular with agricultural products, although this does not mean that using these signs is restricted only to agricultural products.
According to article 1 of the support of geographical signs’ law, “A geographical sign is a sign which attributes the origin of a product to a certain territory, region or area of the country, with the condition that the quality, reputation, and other characteristics of the product can basically be attributed to their geographical origin.”
Industrial design refers to the aesthetic beauty of the product and basically consists of the physical appearance of a material or product. This special form can be concerning the pattern or color of the product. This design can consist of 3D characteristics of a product such as appearance or its’ 2D characteristics such as patterns, lines, and colors. Industrial design is very useful in industrial production, handicrafts such as furniture, home and kitchen appliances, toys, electronic devices, accessories and jewelry, textile and knitwear designs, medical tools, transportation vehicles, and architectural structures.
Trade secrets are confidential technical knowledge and gathering of useful information which are convenient in specific industrial activities or are crucial to the development of useful techniques for industrial purposes.
There is no mention of integrated circuits in paragraph 2 of article 1 of the Paris convention which serves as a record of examples of industrial property rights. In general, the type of support that comes from the implementation plan and mapping of continuous electric circuits is relatively new. According to article 2 of the treaty of intellectual property rights which mentions integrated circuits, it is a product which has an electrical function and in its final or medial form has various components, and at least one of these various components is active and all or some of the connections between these components is seamlessly designed or they are all stacked on each other.
In Iran’s national laws, according to article 2 of the executive code of the law of support of computer software creators, a software consists of a collection of computer programs, procedures, instructions and documentation related to them, and also information concerning the performance of a computer which has a specific application and is recorded on one computer carrier.
Concerning the first note of this article, works and products of written, audio and visual software which are processed by the application and are provided and presented as a separate product are also subject to these regulations. Also, considering note 2 of article 2, creating the procedure of a software in the mind or expression of the mind’s creation is not considered a software and does not create any rights for its creator. As is mentioned in article 3 of this code, the creator of a software is a person or persons which carry out all the procedures of analysis, design, construction and implementation of the software.
New plant numbers:
According to article 3 of the plant numbers’ registration, control and certification of seed and seedlings approved in 2004, plant numbers will be registered if they meet the following conditions:
- The newness of the numbers in a way that differs from previously registered or known numbers regarding genetic characteristics. Transgenic statistics also fall under this category.
- The new number be genetically or physically or in both cases, uniform
- The characteristics of the number, either hybrid or non-hybrid, be stable during the years of production. Furthermore, registration of transgenic numbers results in intellectual property and is considered as exclusive economic exploitation of that figure for 18 years for the modifier (either real or legal). Any commercial use of the registered numbers is subject to obtaining a written authorization from the modifier.
Rules and regulations regarding the support of intellectual property rights are as follows:
- The law of registration of trademarks and inventions passed on 06/23/1931 and corrected regulations of registration of trademarks and inventions in 1958
- Regulations of installation and mandatory registration of trademarks passed on 04/23/1949
- Law of registration of plant numbers passed on 07/20/2003
- Law of support of geographical signs
- Law of support of rights of authors, composer, and artists
- Criteria for obtaining license for herbal medications
- Criteria for production of new drugs from the Islamic penal code approved by the year of the Drug Regulation
- Regulation of production of human biological products
- Regulation for production and import of drugs (and subsequent corrections) approved on 08/26/1989
- Patent plans, industrial designs, trademarks and trade names
The Lisbon agreement is one of the conventions which Iran has joined regarding intellectual property rights. Lisbon regarding the support of geographical signs, the Madrid agreement (geographical signs) the Madrid agreement (trademarks) the Paris convention is the Convention of the World Organization regarding intellectual property rights.
Artistic and literary ownership
The aim of literary and artistic ownership is to support literary, artistic and scientific works. Some lawyers prefer to use the term “copyright (author’s right)” instead of the term “literary and artistic ownership”. Even though at the first look, copyright does not seem like it is a generic term for literary and artistic right and the term “author” is mostly used for writers, and for instance, a photographer or a sculptor is not an author, but this issue dates back to the historic background of editing moral rights. Since in the beginning, only books and writers were supported and gradually, with the development of the societies, other human creations and innovations slowly became worthy of support. The definitions for literary and artistic ownership, copyright, or author’s right are concerned with creations in the field of literature, music and art. In the definition of author’s right or literary and artistic right, it can be said that it is the creator of literary, artistic and scientific works right for their work to be published in their name and their exclusive right to reproduce, manufacture, supply, implement and operate their own works. In other words, the author’s right or copyright is a legal term and consists of rights considered for the creators of literary and artistic works.
Regarding literary and artistic ownership, different definitions exists which are as follows:
- “Author’s right consists of domination and authority of the author on the work which they have created.”
- “A collection of rights which the law has considered for the creator (author of the work) concerning the products of their thought and intelligence. These rights include the exclusive right of exploitation of the work for a limited time for the author and after their death for their heirs.”
- “In a changing contract the subject of which is the transfer of literary or artistic ownership and such, the changed property consists of the creator’s right and the substitute refers to the property given to the creator for using their work in a way that is in their name, including the author’s right even though it is only concerning literary works.” (same)
- It is also mentioned in article 1 of the law of support of rights of authors, composers, and artists approved in 1969 that: “According to the law, the author, composer and artists are referred to as creators and what emerges through their knowledge or art or innovation, disregarding the way through which it is made, is called the work.”
Based on the above mentioned definitions, the author’s right consist of two types: intellectual and financial. The intellectual rights are those which allow the author to take specific action in order to preserve the connection between them and their work. For instance, only they are allowed to be named as the creator of the work, or provide authorization or prevent its publication, or prevent it from distortion, whereas financial rights have commercial exploitation aspect and consist of economic profit gains. This means that the author can present it to the public. Contrary to intellectual rights, financial rights are transferable and can be traded. The universal declaration of human rights and the international covenant on economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights also emphasizes the exploitation of material and physical benefits of literary and artistic rights, and the necessity of taking essential steps by the governments towards maintaining, developing and promoting literary and artistic works. Furthermore, the holding of several international and regional conventions in this regard, expresses the global attention to this issue.
Given that the rules and regulations concerning the rights of intellectual property are quite new and few people have enough information on the subject, we suggest that you consult our experts at Sarasa Law Office regarding these issues.
 Katouzian, Naser, Property and Ownership, Mizan Publication, 16th Print, 2007, P.63
 Mirhoseini, Seyed Hosein, An Introduction to Intellectual property Rights, 2005, P.19
 Malora Stein and Nickiel Sina, Media Quarterly, “World New Media and Communication Politics”, Translated by Lida Kavousi, Year 15, Number 2, Cont. 58, Summer 2004, P.125
 Akbari, Alireza, Book Quarterly, “Author’s Right on the Internet”, Number 65, Spring 2006, P.100
 Jaafari Langeroudi, Mohammad Jaafar, Property Rights, 2nd print (Ganje Danesh Publishing, Tehran 1991), P.164