FAQ About Copyright and Patent Law

Judge u.w. clemon

It is widely understood that the law protects an individual?s ownership of personal property, like cars, cell phones, and televisions. But did you know that your intangible assets and original creations are covered, as well?

Intellectual property law encompasses the rules for obtaining and enforcing your rights to original artistic works and inventions. The regulations are not always clear, so here are some questions that might help you understand.

Frequently Asked Questions About Intellectual Property/Copyright and Patent Law

What is copyright?
Copyright is granted under the United States? Constitution to protect original works that were created in a tangible medium. Whether published or unpublished, anything recorded in a concrete format is protected under copyright law.

What sort of works does copyright law protect?
Copyright law protects literary, musical, dramatic, and all other artistic pieces that have been documented. However, it does not protect facts, ideas, or systems.

At what point does copyright law come into effect?
A document is protected by this law at the very moment of its creation. There is no registration requirement in order for a work to be protected under copyright law. For instance, if you write an original poem and record it on paper, it is immediately protected; no one else can claim the poem as their own.

What is a patent?
A patent is an exclusive right that allows individuals to profit from an original invention for a set period of time. To obtain a patent, the creator must make known the details of the invention. Once the patent is awarded, it prevents all others from creating, using, or profiting off of the invention without the patent holder’s consent.

What is a trademark?
A trademark is an exclusive right that protects single identifiers. This includes words, phrases, symbols, and original designs that identify specific goods or services.

What if a copyright or patent is violated?
Typically, copyright and patent law cases are settled outside of court through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration. Sometimes, however, patent litigation is necessary, which means taking the case to a court of law.

If you have any additional questions about copyright and patent law, feel free to post in the comments section below.