Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized. IP is defined as an intangible form of property, as opposed to personal property or real property, which is concrete and much more easily defined. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, software, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; as well as words, symbols, industrial processes, and designs. IP is the result of the creation of the brain or the mind, which is then manifested or interpreted in a form that has a physical existence and possesses exclusive property rights.
Intellectual Property Law is the area of law that deals with the creation of intellectual property patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret laws; the protection of intellectual property rights; and the legal pursuit of those who infringe on those rights.
The purpose of intellectual property laws are to encourage new technologies, artistic expressions and inventions while promoting economic growth. When individuals know that their creative work will be protected and that they can benefit from their labor, they are more likely to continue to produce things that create jobs, develop new technology, make processes more efficient, and create beauty in the world around us.
There are three main mechanisms for protecting intellectual property in the United States: copyrights, patents and trademarks.
Copyrights protect the expressive arts. They give owners exclusive rights to reproduce their work, publicly display or perform their work, and create derivative works. Such artistic and creative works as paintings, music, books, photographs, movies and software may be protected by copyright law.
Additionally, owners are given economic rights to financially benefit from their work and prohibit others from doing so without their permission. It is important to realize that copyrights do not protect ideas, only how they’re expressed.
Patents protect an invention from being made, sold or used by others for a certain period of time. Inventors may not assume that their creation is patented unless they apply and are approved for a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This process can be complex and time consuming. Copyrights and patents are governed exclusively by the U.S. Constitution and Congressional legislature, while both federal and state laws deal with trademarks and some aspects of unfair competition disputes. It is a good idea to hire an intellectual property attorney to make sure you file the appropriate paperwork and get the patent you need to protect your invention and make it profitable.
Statute creates and governs trademarks, patents and copyrights, which represents ownership of an original idea for a limited period of time. Trademarks protect the names and identifying marks of products and companies. The purpose of trademarks is to make it easy for consumers to distinguish competitors from each other. Trademarks are automatically assumed once a business begins using a certain mark to identify its company, and may use the symbol TM without filing their symbol or name with the government.
There are strict laws in place to protect intellectual property rights. When intellectual property rights are violated, it is important to hire an intellectual property lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you sue for damages that include lost royalties. If your case is successful, the person who violated your intellectual property rights may be required to pay for all of your legal fees in addition to compensating you for using your work without your permission