The terminology intellectual property refers to a protection of any creation that an individual has been inspired to make. Intellectual property laws protect against someone, who didn’t create that work, from taking it and financially benefiting from it as if it were his or her own. It’s believed that by having intellectual property protections in place, it helps spawn both social and economic development of society.
According to the United Nations, there are two primary categories of intellectual property. The first category protects all types of industry such as inventions or designs. These types of items are protected by trademarks and patents.
The second type of intellectual property has to do with copyrights, a protection which covers visual arts, literary pieces and all other types of artistic expression. Some of the more common items that are protected by copyright include architectural designs, photographs, motion pictures, songs, sketches, books, paintings, sculptures and plays.
As for trademarks, they protect an iconic, distinguishing symbol of a brand from being utilized by another individual or party without first being licensed from them. Some examples of trademarks include the scripted Coca Cola name or the Starbucks mermaid logo. They are allowed to be renewed over and over again so long as they’re still being utilized by the company that created them.
With patents, there are three primary types of them. There are utility, plant and design varieties, each of which protect a different aspect of the ingenuity involved in creating a design or invention. Once issued, a patent protects any one invention from being replicated, distributed or otherwise utilized by another for 20 years.
Finally, with a copyright, it protects authors or owners of books, art, music and other pieces of art from being utilized without the express consent of its originator. In the case of books, a copyright applies for the duration of an author’s life plus an additional 50 years after his or her death.
The law does allow for some pieces protected by copyright to be utilized in educational settings or by nonprofits for noncommercial use without fear of prosecution for doing so.
If you’re considering requesting a patent, trademark or copyright, then you may wish to discuss the benefits of doing so with a Collier County, Florida, intellectual property attorney.
Source: Business News Daily, “What is intellectual property?,” Chad Brooks, accessed Oct. 20, 2017