Chapter 8 : A Bit About Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is the governing body of trademark law.  There are several branches of it, each with its own duty and its own bearing on your protection.  You should understand the differences of each so as to insure that no assumption is made about them.

The first and probably the most important type of protection in property law is that of the patent.  This type of law protects inventions.  Patents are used to help individuals to protect the things that they invent.  Anything that is uniquely designed can be patented.

With patent law, there is the ability to protect the item from others making something similar or the same, from others using the item and from others selling and therefore profiting from the item.

The next consideration under intellectual property law is copyright law.  This type of law protects those that develop something that is creative that is to be used only for its intended use by that person.

Those that write books, those that design art and those that produce movies are prime examples of individuals that should find copyright law useful.  This type of law protects them from anyone else copying the work, reproducing it in any way, or from distributing the work to others.  Here, the goal is to protect the expression of the work.

The third and final type of property that is protected here is that of trademark law, which we have defined in the first chapter of this book. 

Where Did It Come From?

Trademark laws actually began well back into the 13th century.  It actually took place in England at that time.  The goal of this first trademark was to protect consumers, not to protect the actual product in question.

The need was to protect others from falling victim to counterfeit products that were less than desirable was actually the goal of these first trademark laws.

It took until the 1870’s for the United States to adapt trademark laws.  In fact, although they were used before this without registration, England as well as the United States set up actually offices that were to govern the registration of trademarks.  During this time, the official office was called the Trademark Department of the United States, or England.

Trademarking Today

Although it may seem like an old world thing to trademark your product, it is very much something that is thriving today.  In fact, there are actually many more trademarks issued each year in the United States than there have been in the past. 

According to the Department Of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office, the fiscal year of 2006 was one that broke records.  As for what records were broken, it is not so much of the actually records as it is for the quality of the process and the trademarks that were issued during this time.

According to the USPTO goals related to, “the quality, production, electronic filing, telework, electronic processing and the hiring” were met or exceeded during this time.  That is significant because of the demand on the facility during this time.

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