Intellectual Law 101 Everything You Need to Know


 

Proprietary Rights to intellectual property is a lesser-known subject for many individuals in their various fields. This ignorance could do them harm in both a professional and financial sense.

Intellectual property issues have cropped up in many courts across the country. Ever since the establishment of the Patent Act in 1970, individuals and businesses have lined up thousands of court cases touching on intellectual property. Even recently, Trump accused China of stealing intellectual property; a major intellectual property issue which is still being discussed worldwide.

This post will get you up to speed on the basics of intellectual property litigation so you’ll never get caught pants down on intellectual property legal matters. Let’s dive right into it.

What is Intellectual Property Litigation?

Intellectual property litigation, also known as intellectual property law, is a set of laws set up to protect the rights of business of individuals who create artistic work. In this case, the term artistic is not restricted to galleries but also includes music, literature, inventions, symbols, signs, and discoveries too. In protecting these rights, IPL encourages creativity and innovation and also fosters economic growth.

What Are the Various Types of Intellectual Property?

There are many types of intellectual property. Here are a few common ones everyone should know.

1. Patents

Patents are common in the science arena but can also trickle down into commerce. A patent prevents an invention from being sold, reproduced, or used by anyone else unless authorized by the individual in question. Patents ensure that the inventor and any associated parties profit from their innovation before any competition erupts. Patents last no more than 20 years.

In the US, you can get:-

  • Design patents- protects the look and build of an object, machine, or contraption once it’s made.
  • Utility patents- protect invention that achieves a certain function.
  • Plant patents- protects first-time asexually reproduced plants.

It’s advised to talk to a patent lawyer first if you ever want to obtain a patent, to help you all through the process.

2. Copyrights

Copyright is a word you’ve most often heard in matters relating to music, movies, and pictures. Copyrights give the owner of the music, motion pictures, visual art, or any other artistic work owned by an individual or company exclusive rights to reproduce, perform, display and recreate their work. They bar other interested parties from doing the same or making financial gain from the owner’s work unless authorized by the owner. In doing so, the owner can profit from his work.

There are, however, a few exceptions under the terms of ‘fair use’. Typical copyrights last for up to 70 years.

Copyrighted materials have the c symbol next to the labels or logos.

3. Trademarks

Companies need trademarks to protect their names, slogans, logos, and symbols. It helps to differentiate businesses from each other to avoid confusing consumers. Trademarks also protect businesses from imitators who capitalize on a customer’s scant knowledge of a particular brand they are loyal too.

Intellectual property litigation heavily protects trademarks. The consequences of breaching these terms could be devastating to a company. Also, trademarks are assumed once you start a business. All businesses need to do is follow up their names, slogans, and the likes with TM.

4. Right of Publicity

Different state laws protect an individual’s name and image under the right of publicity litigation. These laws protect your name and image from being used for whatever purposes without your consent. The law makes sense for celebrities and influential persons whose pictures could be used by companies for advertising products and services without prior agreement or proper compensation.

5. Trade Secrets

Trade secrets protect vital business information that could be used by business competitors to give them an edge. This information includes marketing strategies, new policies, or secret recipes or designs. Though there’s no documented classification of what exactly counts as a trade secret, it is said that any information that can give your business rivals an advantage is a trade secret.

There are plenty of other intellectual property laws that span a broad range of fields and subjects. Remember these laws varies from state to state, so what may be illegal in one state is perfectly fine in another.

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