Intellectual property law has been around for well over two hundred years. It has been added to and rewritten in efforts to keep up with the changing times. The internet forever changed the way material is published. To protect your original works, you need intellectual property protection. The good news is that it may be easier than you think.
What is considered intellectual property?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of intellectual property is “a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.” Of all the ways a person can create new ideas and concepts, there are different categories that your work may relate to. In order to have the proper protection you should understand what those are.
- Copyright laws protect any written or recorded work from every being reprinted or republished under another person’s name. This includes scripts, poems, books, and song lyrics. Protection is in place from the moment you create it.
- Trademarks are what protect logo designs or short phrases like a jingle that prevent other companies from taking these identification symbols. It is especially important for entrepreneurs to obtain trademarks to protect their brand identity. Trademarks must be legally issued and registration is required to have protection.
- Patents are protection for inventions, formulas and even patterns or designs for which a product is developed. They may be sold or held to collect royalties from future companies that want or need to use your innovation. They too must be issued and become public record.
- Music Law also falls under the intellectual property umbrella and includes protection for band names and allows for royalties under copyright protection for the written and recorded work.
- Computer Law falls under the umbrella as well, but usually all aspects of the PC realm fall into copyrights, trademarks, and patents for things such as logos on a website and software ideas.
Protection is Far Reaching
Because intangible creations of the human brain need to be manifested in some tangible way, there needs to be protection beyond physical borders. You do need intellectual property protection in this day in age as the passing of information is as easy as translating your work to another language or the click of a button. Each state has its own written intellectual property law, but each state’s legislation is subject to federal law which tends to err on the super strict side. Because of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade back in the 1990’s, intellectual property protection has become an area of high and scrupulous attention.