Intellectual Property Law
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Intellectual property law is the form of law that deals directly in establishing and protecting the rights of individuals that create various types of works that are considered to be original in nature. The purpose and intent of this form of law is to encourage individuals to engage in activities such as developing new forms of technology, expressing themselves in an artistic fashion and creating various types of art work, as well as inventing products and services that will enhance the stability of the economy or stimulate economic based growth. It has been established that when artists, freelancers, inventors and other types of individuals that develop original work know and understand that their creations will be properly protected from law and that they will reap financial benefits from their creations, they are motivated to continue creating products and services that will assist in stimulating the growth of the economy by creating employment opportunities, streamlining certain types of processes, and developing new and interesting forms of technology that will assist in optimizing productivity and enhancing entertainment levels. In the United States, the three main areas for protecting creators are trademarks, the copyright and various types of patents. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn many important facts pertaining to intellectual property law that will assist in optimizing your knowledge on this critical area of the legal system.
According to toledobusinesslaw.com, in intellectual property law, trademarks are crucial in protecting names and various types of identifying marks that are associated with companies. In addition to this, trademarks also protect product names and identifying marks. These aspects of intellectual property law assist in aiding consumers in the process of distinguishing one competitor from another competitor, within a given industry. When a company or a product starts utilizing a certain type of mark, symbol or other similar characteristic in order to identify itself, the trademark is automatically established. The company and/or product may simply utilize the symbol identified as “TM” to alert others to the trademark. This is the only step that needs to be taken in order to establish the fact that a company or a product has a trademark. It is not necessary for the product or company to file their trademarked mark or other identifying characteristic with the government.
When an individual or a company creates a work that is classified as an expressive art, they may acquire a copyright in order to properly protect their work. In most instances, an expressive form of art includes a dance, a dramatic production, a musical creation, a type of visual art, and art pieces that include the written word. Once a copyright is obtained, the owner of the art form acquires exclusive rights to it. This means that they engage in the act of reproducing the work, displaying their work in a public fashion, performing the work that they have created and/or create subsequent original works that pertain to, are based on, or related to the original work. The copyright grants the creator of the work to receive compensation and other forms of financial gains from their work. In addition to this, it prevents others from using their work or financially benefiting from the work without prior written and legal permission. The intellectual property law area of copyrights protect how ideas are expressed through expressive arts, but do not legally protect the ideas themselves.
The form of intellectual property law that commonly involves inventions is identified as “Patents”. These special forms of protection assist inventors in ensuring that other individuals are unable to make, sell, or use the inventions that they have originally created for a specified amount of time. In the United States, there are three basic types of patents under intellectual property law. These are identified as “Utility Patents”, “Plant Patents” and “Design Patents”. The following provides basic information on these types of patents, according to the intellectual property law of the nation:
Utility – These are specially designed patents that assist in ensuring that inventions with a specified function are properly protected. Examples of these items may include items such as various types of machines and technological devices.
Plant – These patents are intended for individuals that have created one or more varieties of plant life through the means of asexual reproduction and/or hybrid plant technology.
Design – This special patent under intellectual property law is put into place in order to properly protect how an object – which has been through the manufacturing process – looks or appears.
In order for an individual, company or business to acquire a patent, they must apply for one at the organization identified as the “United States Patent and Trademark Office”. While a very complicated and lengthy process, it may be highly beneficial for those that have a desire to properly protect those products that they have personally invented, or for a company that has invented a product that they have a desire to protect. Due to the extreme difficulty in acquiring a patent, it is often best to enlist the assistance of an attorney that specializes in intellectual property law.
Whether you own a company, are self-employed, or simply have a passion for the expressive arts, it is critical that you acquire an in depth understanding of intellectual property law. This is especially true if you have created an original product, technology or type of art. Not only will the protection prevent others from taking the ideas that you have expressed in one form or another and expressing them for their own gain, but the protection offered from intellectual property law will permit you with the ability to reap financial rewards and recognition from that which you have created. If you create original products and/or services, it is essential that you carefully study this aspect of law. If you have any questions or would like clarification on a certain aspect of the law, you may direct your inquiries to an attorney that specializes in intellectual property law.