Have you ever seen a product that you knew you had seen somewhere else before? Have you ever read an article that you thought sounded awfully familiar to something else you had read? If either of these cases are true, you may have experienced the stolen intellectual property on display.
When people think of stolen property, they usually and automatically think of a tangible object being stolen from one individual and transferred to another. In cases of stolen intellectual property, a copy is made of one idea and then used or altered, usually for a profit. Every year, thousands upon thousands of new creations hit the market and are exhibited to the public or in private meetings. The most types of intellectual property are patents, designs, trademarks, and copyrights.
Patents or Designs
The usual victim to intellectual property theft including patents or designs are businesses. A patent is an object or system that is protected under law. Patents also have very recognizable features that make the patent what it is, so when someone steals a patent it is usually apparent.
Certain designs belong to a certain system or machine and have the same recognizable features. If someone steals a design that is produced to perform a certain function and he or she profits off of this, he or she can be charged under the court of law for theft of intellectual property.
Branding is one of the most fundamental factors to a great marketing strategy. When a business owner gets his or her trademark stolen, the name of his or her business is diluted. Many people believe that trademarks only involve business brands. However, trademarks are anything an organization or business uses to represent itself. This means that phrases, graphics, or the symbols that makeup a company’s identity are also protected under law.
Original works also play a part in copyrights as well. Copyrights are any intellectual properties that are backed up by an author. Even if the work is not published, an author of a work is protected under law from theft. If somebody makes a copy of a work that is not his or hers, he or she may face a lawsuit by the owner of the property. He or she also cannot make a variation of the same work and pass it off as his or her own work. Common copyright works are:
– literary materials
– artistic work
For more information on intellectual property and your rights, contact the Minneapolis business lawyers at the Skjold – Barthel, P.A. law firm.