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Intellectual Property Law Questions

What is intellectual property law?

Intellectual property law is a branch of law that deals with protecting original ideas and inventions that people make. Intellectual property law protects these inventions and ideas in the form of copyrights, trademarks and patents. Any individual, as per the intellectual property law, may either copyright, trademark or patent his/her original idea or invention. At times, it may be difficult for individuals to decide what may be the right thing to do about their inventions. Not understanding or having knowledge of the intellectual property law can leave an individual confused as to whether he/she should copyright, patent or trademark his/her idea. Also, the process for copyrighting, trade marking or patenting an idea can be a difficult one if the individual does not know the different aspects of the intellectual property law. Given below are popular questions asked about the intellectual property law.

Can radio talk show hosts have copyrights for their individual shows?

In most situations, the radio station or broadcaster on whose channel the show is hosted will have the copyright to the broadcast of the show. However, according to the fair use doctrine of the intellectual property law, an individual may use parts of the copyrighted material to criticize, comment, report, teach or do research. Using large portions of the copyrighted material may be considered to be infringement of the copyright.

Would an image or quote on a t-shirt need to be copyrighted?

According to intellectual property law, if the image and quote on the t shirt is original, then it may be automatically copyrighted from the time it is created. However, the owner of the image can copyright it for legal benefits. Though it may not be protected by copyright, it can be used as a trademark.

As per intellectual property law, what work would be considered to be in the public domain?

According to intellectual property law, any work that is published without a copyright notice may be in the public domain. Also, any work whose copyright was not renewed in the 28th year after it was published may be in the public domain.

Can two different companies register under the same trademark?

Two different companies may be registered with the same name and trademark if they belong to different fields and industries. Companies in the same industry may not register under the same trademark

Can a concept or idea be copyrighted under the intellectual property law?

It is unlikely that a concept or idea can be copyrighted under the intellectual property law. However, the individual who owns the idea or concept may apply for a patent for the concept. It may cost the individual about $4000 for the entire patenting process. The product that is created from the idea can become the trademark of the idea.

Can an individual who is making a distribution agreement with his/her distributors use both the registered name as well as the “Doing Business As” name of the company in the agreement?

It is likely that an individual, who is making distribution agreements with various distributors may use both the registered and incorporated name of his/her company, as well as the “doing business as” name of the company for easy reference in the agreement as per the intellectual property law.

Would it be considered Copyright infringement if an individual sold DVD’s of music artists for promotional purposes?

According to the intellectual property law, it may be considered infringement of copyright if an individual physically copied the music of different artists without authorization, sold the music or if he/she enabled other people to violate the copyright of the musicians. If an individual sold music DVDs for promotional purposes, he would likely be sued by different artists for copyright infringement. He may not be prosecuted for criminal copyright violation though.

Having information about the different aspects of intellectual property law can help individuals protect their inventions and ideas and prevent them from being copied or misused.

Ask an IP Lawyer

Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2749
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
14461494
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
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3 IP Lawyers are Online Now

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IP Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Alex Reese
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 2588
Experienced in intellectual property law
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 387
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Thomas Swartz
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 374
Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.

Recent Intellectual Property Law Questions

  • I'm a small retailer launching an online store. I resell some

    I'm a small retailer launching an online store. I resell some products I've bought directly from companies wholesale. Is it okay to copy-paste product descriptions from their websites? What about product photos? In the case of some of the product descriptions they are word for word; in others, I paraphrased and changed the text slightly; in some I changed the tense (ex. "Our widget has these features: a, b, c." to "company's widget has these features: a, b, c.") I also did an about section for some of the companies and artists I'm reselling for and either copy-pasted or paraphrased parts of their biographies next to their names. I was hoping all of this was okay because I am actually reselling their products that I purchased from them legally, not using their descriptions for a different product; and in the case of the bios I'm describing them either in their own words or taking their own words and editing them into something slightly different. However, I'm not making a distinction or disclaimer of any kind that any or all of the content came from the company/artist, so it isn't stated who wrote the copy or took the photo. At the bottom of my site I do have the words "copyright 2014 my site name." I've seen other retailers copy/paste products and descriptions from the original manufacturer's site and thought this was normal, but today (ironically, as I'm about to go live on my site) a friend who is also a retailer posted info on web plagiarism because another retailer has been stealing ideas from her business Facebook and morphing them into their own. ???
  • I have been downloading pictures from the internet (Bing photo

    I have been downloading pictures from the internet (Bing photo searches) for personal use in short stories. There is little or no information as to the source of the photos that are gathered in the search. If I publish a story that has such a photo included, am I in violation of copyright laws? Also, must an individual or company who creates the photo file for a copyright to be protected by copyright laws or does the law automatically attach to the creators the photo?
    Thanks, Larry
  • Patent. If I were to come up with a use of a product can

    Patent.
    If I were to come up with a use of a product can it be patented?
    For example, if I come up with a different use of toilet paper within the bathroom, by cutting and packaging it differently can I get a patent on that use? How about the cut?
    Also, if I can come up with a different use of kitchen towel by making it really absorbant and cutting it differntly for a few uses related to food, what can and cannot be patented?
    Please refer to links to read up on relevant material.
    Thanks
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