Intellectual property law can be quite confusing at times. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents all play a role in protecting your hard-earned content and knowing that their role is half the battle.
Intellectual property itself refers to creations of the mind, including such things as: artistic works, literary works, inventions, names, images, symbols and designs used in commerce. In other words, the intellect that is owned by an organization or an individual is considered intellectual property.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories, copyright and industrial property.
Copyright gives the authors of an exclusive work exclusive rights to that work for a limited period of time. Copyright covers literary and artistic works such as novels, poems, plays, films, songs and other musical works, artistic works (drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs) and architectural designs. Copyright, which must be renewed periodically, allows creators of a work the opportunity to benefit from that work.
Industrial property includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications of origin.
Patents give inventors of a new product a certain (limited) amount of time in which they can prevent others from making, selling, or using the invention without authorization.
A trademark is an intellectual property protection that is used to protect the distinctive characteristics that distinguish one product from another. Those characteristics can include things like: symbols, colors, brands, names, sounds, smells, shapes, and signs.
Fortunately, intellectual property laws benefit the creator of a property, rewarding that creator for their innovation and creativity. Furthermore, society as a whole benefits from intellectual property laws, as these laws encourage creativity, allowing the rest of us to benefit from the wide range of products and services that are produced.
Any violation of a trademark, patent, or copyright could form the basis for an intellectual property claim. If you feel that you have been a victim, it would be wise to consult a qualified attorney in your area. Find an attorney or law firm that specializes in intellectual property law. Know your rights and protect them accordingly.