Friday, January 13, 2017
Defining Intellectual Property
As a graduate of the Ave Maria School of Law, Angel Leiva served as a legal extern for the firm of Golab Intellectual Property. In this capacity, Angel Leiva developed his skills in intellectual property law.
Intellectual property rights apply to unique works produced by the human mind. The laws consist of three main parts: trademark, patent, and copyright.
Trademarks are words, symbols, or phrases that identify products. In the United States, trademarks must be registered with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, which requires that a trademark distinguish its product from others.
A trademark can be descriptive, generic, suggestive, or arbitrary or fanciful. These categories determine which aspects of trademark law apply. Being the first to use the trademark or register it with the patent office gives one the rights to it.
Patents grant the inventor the right to manufacture and market a new product. A patent is valid for a limited time, and when it expires, the product enters the public domain. Patents must be useful, novel, and not obvious. They must deal with an actual subject matter and disclose how one may operate the invention.
Copyright law applies to original content that exists in a tangible fashion. Some examples of copyrightable material include films, books, plays, and software. Copyright does not protect intangibles, such ideas and facts, though it may protect the means by which they are expressed. Protections of copyright generally are in effect for 70 years after the creator’s death.