Intellectual property law is the area of law that deals with legal rights to creative works and inventions
The areas of intellectual property law include:
The purpose of intellectual property law is to allow the people who create and invent things to profit from their work. Intellectual property laws concern the ideas people have and the things people create. It involves both scientific and creative works. The rules for claiming exclusive rights to a work and the rules for enforcing those rights vary depending on the type of the creation.
Copyrights protect an owner’s right to their own creative work. Works covered by copyright include print, performances, music, choreography and movies. When you have a copyright, other people can’t reproduce your work for their own profit. To receive a copyright, your work must be unique. There must be significant creative work that goes into your production.
Because of international copyright agreements, you don’t have to formally register a copyright to have it. However, you can register it. If you do, it’s prima facie evidence that you have a copyright on the work. Formal registration allows you to claim attorney fees and statutory damages if someone violates your copyright.
A patent is the legal right to an original invention. During the term of the patent, no one else can make the product, sell it or distribute it without permission. In the United States, the term of a patent is 20 years.
Asking for patent protection requires careful documentation of the novelty of the invention. You must show that your idea is new. You must be able to describe the patent in sufficient detail so that both government officials and the public can determine what your invention is about and what rights you have.
A trademark is a design, symbol, lettering or word(s) that represent a company or product. It’s an identifier. A trademark distinguishes your company or product from others.
Like copyrights, you don’t have to register a trademark to have it. You can have a trademark just by regularly using a symbol or design to represent your product. However, it’s important to register your trademark because registration gives you a legal presumption of ownership.
Unlike a patent, a trademark can last forever. When you have a trademark, you have the exclusive rights to make and sell products that use the trademark. An example of a trademark is the design logo of a sports team. Trademarks play an important part in business, and trademark attorneys help their clients protect their brand.
Industrial design rights
Sometimes, inventors don’t make products. Instead, they make new designs to make products. These are called industrial designs. Industrial design rights protect the rights of the creators to use and profit from their creations. The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs addresses industrial design rights internationally.
Plant variety rights
Horticulturalists have long been breeding plants into new and better varieties. When someone creates a new plant, they have exclusive rights to the plant and the plant materials. A person or company holding the rights to a new plant can choose to grow the plant themselves or sell licenses to grow and use the plant.
Trade dress is essentially packaging. When a company sells a product in unique packaging, they may have exclusive rights to present the product in that way. Claiming a trade dress right can be complicated. You must prove that your packaging is aesthetic rather than functional. You must show that consumers are interested in the packaging as well as in the product.
A trade secret is a formula or plan for doing business. It’s a system or a way of doing things that gives a company an advantage over a competitor. For example, Coca-Cola doesn’t have a patent on their signature Coca-Cola drink. However, it’s protected as a trade secret. If a competitor gets the recipe in an unlawful way, Coca-Cola can bring an action for a trade secret violation.
Intellectual property law is often international
International property law often raises international issues. When a person creates something in Thailand, they may want to preserve their right to profit from the work in another country. Many countries don’t have the same intellectual property laws that the Thailand has. At Bangkok Legal we know international laws, and know how to help you harness those laws effectively.
Protect the right to the use of your own products because we believe it’s fair for creators to profit from their own work product.
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