All laws are created for a reason, and intellectual property laws are some of the more intriguing laws indeed. For those that might not be familiar with the term, intellectual property refers to property that has been created by someone, such as an idea or information. The most common examples include, ideas for movies, books, unique sports logos and brand names.
Intellectual property law can be more easily broken down into a few categories such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. These categories all fall under ideas and information that has been thought or created by an individual. Furthermore attorneys that practice intellectual property law also work with trademarks law and copyrights law.
- First up is patent law. Patent law is set forth to protect anyone that might have invented or discovered anything “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”* Most often, we hear about a new and innovative drug that might have been patented. A patent might be the toughest to obtain, for several reasons. Typically, patents are reserved for any invention that is “novel, useful, and nonobvious.”* With so much information out there nowadays it can be difficult to come up with something that no one else has thought of yet. The product must be uniquely created and clearly showcase the benefits it will provide, all the while undergoing a rigorous and grueling application process.
- Next on the list: copyrights. Copyrights are a bit more self-explanatory and can include, but are not limited to, the copyrights to those of a book, a movie, a work of art or composing a musical piece. It’s hard work creating something that isn’t already out there, like coming up with the idea for the plot and the characters of a new series. If you think you might be on the verge of a new literary discovery, it might be smart to think about speaking with a copyrights law attorney and ensuring your work is protected.
- Following this is trademarks. Trademark law can include, but is not limited to, sports logo branding. For example, Adidas and the “three stripes” that signify the brand name. For the most part any word, symbol, or name can be trademarked, of course also depending on the availability and uniqueness of the proposed mark. Trademark law also aims to protect customers from businesses distorting the image/name of goods or services provided by a brand. Trademark law is very important, and when executed correctly, could be the beginning of a new enterprise.
- Lastly, but certainly not least are trade secrets. When we hear trade secrets, we might think secret recipe to the sauce at our favorite restaurant, financial information, formulas, or manufacturing processes, which would all be correct. This includes, but is not limited to, any "commercially valuable [and] confidential information... reaching any form of business, scientific, or technical information that has value for not being generally known or ascertainable to anther person."*
If you’re an inventor, a business owner or simply someone that might have come up with the next million-dollar idea it is a great idea to consult with an intellectual property attorney! Attorneys know what is in a person’s best interest and are there to protect their new and potential intellectual assets through copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. If you’re wanting to schedule a consultation with an attorney, you can contact our office online by submitting a Contact Form at Contact Us | The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky (egmlegal.com) or by directly calling our office at (317) 743-7958.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.
*Useful links and references:
Intellectual Property Law: A Brief Introduction, Congressional Research Service, 13 Apr. 2022, crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF10986.