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Understanding Intellectual Property Law – The Basics

Understanding Intellectual Property Law – The Basics

Understanding Intellectual Property Law – The Basics

It is crucial for an individual or business to never underestimate the importance of protecting their ideas and inventions. While it may seem an arduous task, simply knowing what type of protection one may seek will go a long way in ensuring the ideas and inventions produced are secure for many years to come.

First, the individual must know what Intellectual Property category their idea or invention falls under. The five types of Intellectual Property are: Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs.

Copyrights

Copyrights are the legal entitlements given to creators of books, movies, music, computer programs, maps and technical drawings.

Patents

Patents provide the inventor the right to decide how an invention can be used by others. A patent also affords the inventor the right to decide if the invention may not be used by others. As a result of a patent, the inventor makes their idea public in the published patent document. This is LoneStar Patent Service’s specialty.

Trademarks

A trademark is a symbol used to distinguish services or goods from one business entity to another. Trademarks are based on an ancient ritual where craftsmen either signed or marked their items to distinguish their work from another.

Geographical Indications

Geographical Indications are markers located on a product to indicate where the product was made. For example, many items manufactured in the United States are often labeled with ‘Made in the USA’.

Industrial Designs

An industrial design covers the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of a design. This includes two or three dimensional designs which cover patterns, lines and colors.

Intellectual Property is constantly changing. As new ideas and technologies are produced, so are the needs to protect them. Patenting in the United States started in the late 1700s and was governed by each state. Due to the fact that someone in one state couldn’t protect their idea from being reproduced in another state, patenting was changed to federal governance.

Early days of Intellectual Property protection included farming utensils and other manual labor devices, while modern times include software applications and computer related technologies. These two dichotomies provide a worthy example of how the need for different Intellectual Property protection has changed over the past few centuries.

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