An intellectual property (IP) is anything that is created with human intellect. In other words, a painting, song, book, logo or design are all forms of intellectual property. All of what you read online, watch on TV or purchase at a store is considered a form of IP.
The main purpose of an IP is to allow for the creation of new ideas and distinguish itself from other IPs under copyright laws. However, IPs are protected under certain laws, which prevent people from stealing the right of a creator. When a creator finds that their original work is used without their permission, then they may be a victim of intellectual property infringement.
There are several forms of IP infringement. Here’s what you should know:
Intellectual property, as stated above, is protected under copyright laws. Copyrights laws protect creators from having their work used, duplicated, sold or altered without their permission, otherwise, creators may be victims of copyright infringement and consumers would have difficulty distinguishing one IP from the next.
Once an IP is made it should be registered with copyright protection, which may give them the right to apply for a trademark or patent. A trademark or patent protection helps to reinforce protective rights over an IP.
A trademark distinguishes goods and services from other competing companies or businesses. This way, a company can use its brand on a product or service without competitors making money off of a stolen design. As such, anyone who would want to use a brand that’s trademark-protected may face legal repercussions.
Only certain aspects of a brand can be subjected to trademark protection. For example, a single word can’t be typically trademarked but a slogan may.
A patent works much like a trademark but is used on inventions. An invention may be considered a tool or solution that resolves a problem.
Likewise, a patent can’t be commercially used without permission from its inventor. However, a copyright, trademark or patent that is used without the original creator’s permission may be subjected to IP infringement.
If you believe you’re facing intellectual property infringement, then you may need to know your legal rights.