By Joe Regan
Intellectual Property Law can be quite confusing at times. Copyrights, trademarks and patents all have a role in protecting your hard earned content and knowing their role is half the battle.
Intellectual property in itself refers to the 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 the possession of an organization or an individual is considered intellectual property.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories, copyrights and industrial property.
Copyrights give the authors of an exclusive work, exclusive rights to that work for a limited amount of time. Copyrights cover such literary and artistic works as novels, poems, plays, films, songs and other musical works, artistic works (drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs) and architectural designs. Copyrights, which must be renewed periodically, allow the creators of a piece of work, the opportunity to benefit from that piece of work.
Industrial property includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographic indications of source.
Patents give the inventors of a new product, a certain (limited) amount of time in which he/she may prevent others from making, selling or using the invention without authorization.
A trademark is an intellectual property protection which is used to protect the distinctive features that distinguish one product from another. Those features can include such things as: symbols, colors, brands, names, sounds, smells, shapes, and signs.
Fortunately, Intellectual property laws benefit the creator of a property, by rewarding that creator for his/her innovation and creativity. Also, society as a whole benefits from intellectual property laws, by the fact, that these laws encourage creativity, therefore 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 constitute the grounds for an intellectual property lawsuit. If you feel that you have been victimized it would be wise to consult a qualified attorney in your area. Find an attorney or law firm, which specializes in intellectual property law. Know your rights and protect them accordingly.