What is Intellectual Property?

(“IP”) or intellectual property rights are constitutionally protected conceptions of the human mind. These conceptions include but are not limited to, inventions, discoveries, artistic works, certain methodologies, processes, and products.

Even if you write a song on a napkin, it is still your intellectual property and no one else can use it without your permission.

Intellectual property rights are protected by state, federal and international laws. So, any issues involving them are litigated in almost all court jurisdictions. Many of these particular laws relate to song lyrics and music and other copyrightable works, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets–all of which recognize a person’s ownership of their original conception and give that person the exclusive right, for a defined period of time, to use and profit from it.

What Is Patent Infringement?

In order to protect your cherished work product, inventions and ideas, it is extremely important to work with lawyers with vast experience in IP actions because they take many forms.

For example, patent infringement relates to the unauthorized use of inventions and the processes through which they are designed and manufactured. In other words, if you design and build something like a flying car, others cannot use any part of your design to build their own without your permission. This includes the specific paint, engine, controls and any other part that is completely particular to your idea.

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What is the Difference Between Trademarks and Copyrights?

Trademarks and copyrights are two more examples that can be infringed. A trademark is a symbol, logo, word, sound, color scheme, or name that identifies and differentiates the product or company from others. Think of the design on a sports team uniform or the Mercedes Benz logo on their cars.

Copyright protections shield writings, music, and art from unauthorized copying. This is especially true of song lyrics, music, movie scripts and books. Even if a person uses a few words in their own work without permission, this is a copyright violation. Copyrights and trademarks give owners exclusive rights to use and represent their works.

However, sometimes an owner will license out their work. A licensing agreement is a contract between an IP owner and an entity or person or persons authorized to use such rights usually in exchange for an agreed-upon fee or royalty. Yet, sometimes parties do not follow the terms of that contract which causes rise to litigation.

Other Types of IP

There are other types of IP issues that are in essence variations of those previously discussed. These include pirated goods, knock-off goods, trademark dilution, cybersquatting, domain-name issues, and even computer software coding. When it comes to your IP and the potential assets to be generated from them, you must protect your rights.

So, when unauthorized use occurs, and disputes arise, reach out to qualified attorneys today. Better yet, before any issues arise at all, call us to help you keep your valuable work and ideas protected.

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