Intellectual Property (IP) Law involves the laws protecting the creations of the mind. These include inventions, designs, artistic works, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, so does it cover the exclusive control of intangible assets.
Congress is authorized to pass laws beneficial to creators and inventors of intellectual property (IP) rights. IP laws enacted by Congress are administered through the U.S. Copyright Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Patents provide inventors with legal means to prohibit others from using their inventions. The purpose of a patent is to encourage people to invent to enrich society. Inventors get patent rights for 20 years if they follow all of the rules and overcome all objections.
Trademarks protect symbols, names, and slogans from identifying goods and services. The purpose is to stop confusion, deter misleading advertising, and help consumers distinguish one brand from another.
Since the goal is distinguished, generic or purely descriptive marks may not qualify. Rights can potentially last forever and are obtained by simply using a mark.
While some countries, such as the United States, do not require registration, registering a trademark provides additional protection and is recommended in Alternate Registries, like copyright.
Copyrights protect intellectual and artistic creations, including music, movies, software, and other original works. Copyrights are not available to safeguard simple ideas, theories, or things not produced tangibly. Section 102 of the copyright law outlines the specifics of what is copyrightable.
Copyright protection is usually limited to the intellectual property's creator but may last for a specific amount of time beyond their lifetime, depending on the nature of the work. Most often, copyright protection lasts past the legal creator's lifetime for 70 years after their death.
We live in an age where everyone seems to be in a hurry. Driving across the country? Get there in a hurry. Trying to make it to work on time? Get there in a hurry. Need something right now? Google it.
Our culture thrives off of convenience and instant gratification. It's encouraged and celebrated.
But what happens when our need for convenience sends our need for security out the window? What happens when you let your need for speed dictate how you live your life and do business?
Let's be honest: We live in a day and age where nearly everyone is willing to stealand most people are doing it because it makes their lives easier.
But here are a few simple tips to help you and your team stop spoofing and prevent them from stealing:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind such as books, music, works of art, and software. The Congress of the United States has conferred considerable protections upon IP owners.
One critical protection is called "copyright." A copyright gives the author or owner of a creative work the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and perform the work publicly. Copyright owners have the sole right to prevent others from infringing those rights.
One way to enforce a copyright is to register it with the Copyright Office. Doing this provides certain essential benefits to the copyright owner. First, registration serves as a notice to the world that copyright exists. This gives the owner certain important advantages, including the ability to bring a lawsuit in federal court. Another benefit is statutory damages, which provide the copyright owner the option of recovering damages beyond simply their actual damages and without having to prove those actual damages.
Inventing the right product requires much more than just building it - you have to find out whether or not someone has already created it! That's why it is imperative to register any patent or trademark (or both) early in the product development process.
Doing this ensures legal protection and gives patent or trademark holders recourse in the event of an infringement. By marking products with the respective patent or trademark numbers (assigned by the USPTO), inventors can deter others from copying their design and profiting from their hard work. Putting "patent pending," "trademark pending," or "copyright pending" on the label of your products is a significant first step.
If your company's intellectual property is infringed upon, the signal sent to competitors is that you are impotent to enforce your rights and likely to be an easy mark in future infringements. In most jurisdictions, however, it is possible to commence a federal court action; please consult with an attorney before making any such filing.
If an owner of intellectual property does sue, and the lawsuit is successful, several different remedies could be available. The court could, for example, order the infringer to stop using the owner's intellectual property, and then the infringer could be required to pay for the rights it infringed. The owner may also be entitled to substantial money damages, or the infringer may reclaim the owner's intellectual property.
If you know you have an intellectual property right but aren't sure what your rights are, contact an attorney specializing in IP laws today. They can help you establish, protect, and profit from your IP rights.
Several legal options are available to owners who want to create, copyright, or defend their intellectual property rights. The right choice depends on what kind of intellectual property you have and how you want to use it.
Infringement claims have bankrupted large corporations without warning, so no one dealing with these issues should take them lightly. Firms specializing in intellectual property law are available to help owners looking to establish, profit from, or defend their rights.
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