Intellectual property is one of the biggest controversial areas of the law. It is also a very complex, complicated, and confusing area of the law. Thankfully, there are many legal professionals who have dedicated their careers to understanding intellectual property law and the impact it can have on you or your business. Here is what you should know about intellectual property.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property refers to the ownership over certain ideas or creative works. The most common types of intellectual property are trademarks, patents, and copyrights. When you own intellectual property, it means that you own the rights to that creative work and if anyone wants to use it, they must pay you for the use.
Copyrights are created for original works of art. It is important to emphasize “original” for basis of copyright. It cannot be just a variation of an existing work of art. The copyrighted material must also be tangible so that it can be reproduced. So it has to be more than an idea floating around in your head. Once you have a copyright, you own exclusive rights to the work of art. Copyrights last 70 years after the death of the creator. If the creator is a business, then the copyright can last up to 120 years!
A trademark is a name, logo, or symbol used to represent a business or product. For example, the golden arches for McDonald’s or the bell for Taco Bell are trademarks. In order to protect your trademark, you need to be proactive. If you passively let others use your trademark, you may lose that protection. If you find someone is using your trademark, contact an experienced attorney.
There is a lot to know about intellectual property. If you have questions or concerns, you will need to speak to your attorney about the specific facts in your case. Contact Lucé Evans Law at (972) 632-1300 today for assistance.