Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property law is about the ownership of ideas. On the one hand, great ideas were meant to be shared, but on the other hand, financially profiting from someone else’s idea without their consent is stealing. That is why the laws of the United States recognizes copyright, trademarks, and patents, which are the legal rights to ownership of various kinds of ideas. In order to stake a legal claim to ownership of an idea, you must show that it is original enough for one person or company to own it and that you are the true inventor of the idea. Once you own the rights to an idea, you can sue for damages if someone uses it commercially without your consent. The Gwinnett County corporate law attorneys at Zimmerman & Associates can help you prevent and resolve disputes related to intellectual property.
Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks
Patents, trademarks, and copyright are all different types of ownership rights to ideas, but they all apply to different kinds of ideas. The following are the differences among these types of intellectual property protections:
- Patents apply to useful devices, manufacturing techniques, plant cultivars, pharmaceutical drugs, and similar types of inventions.
- Copyrights apply to texts and similar types of creative works such as musical compositions and audio and video recordings.
- Trademarks are for brand names, brand logos, and other identifiers that set different companies that provide similar products apart from each other.
In other words, patents are for technological inventions, copyright is for text, and trademarks are for commercial brands. For example, GPS technology is protected by patent, Green Eggs and Ham by copyright, and the Pillsbury doughboy by trademark. Therefore, applying for a patent is a much more complex and stringent process than applying for a copyright or trademark. Applying for a patent is a much more complex process than registering a trademark or copyright.
Trademark Infringement Disputes
The Coca-Cola logo is ubiquitous in Atlanta, and every time someone displays it, Coca-Cola gets paid, thanks to intellectual property law. Trademark infringement is when someone uses a trademarked name or image without the trademark owner’s permission. If someone infringes on your trademarked idea, you can petition the court to order them to stop. You can also collect damages to compensate you for the financial losses you incurred because of someone else using your intellectual property commercially.
Disputes Over Ownership of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property disputes occur when two parties disagree over who is the true inventor or rightful owner of a piece of intellectual property. Patent disputes can arise when employees develop a technological invention in the context of their work, and the employer and employee disagree about who owns the patent or the extent to which the employee can commercialize the patented invention outside the context of their employment relationship with the employer.