Patent, Copyright & Trademark

Intellectual Property Law consists of Patent Law (inventions), Copyright Law (creative works) and Trademark Law (brand recognition). Commonly abbreviated as "IP Law", it also covers the related fields of trade secret and Internet Law. Intellectual property is the process and the result from using one’s brain to think, create and invent something. The law only protects that which has a physical existence such as a book, movie, song or software application. The law protects only that which has a physical existence such as a book, movie, song or software application – but not a mere idea. Patent law governs new inventions and consists of utility patents (useful function) and design patents (unique appearance). Copyright law protects creative “works of authorship” such as books, photos, movies, software, music, video, visual art (paintings) and performance art (dance). Trademark law covers the exclusive right to use a trade name or service mark so that the public isn’t confused about which company is providing goods or services that uses a specific, recognizable brand.

  1. Copyright Are Song Titles & Lyrics Protected by Copyright or Trademark Law?

    A comprehensive analysis of the legality of using of movie titles, song titles and lyrics on products such as t-shirts, bumper stickers and other goods and services.
  2. Social Media How Blog, Twitter or Facebook Posts Can Affect your Employment

    Can you get fired for a Facebook, Twitter or blog post, even in private away from work? This article explains your rights, provides best practices for bloggers, and provides recent cases.
  3. Fair Use & Public Domain: Limits of Copyright Protection

    Explanation of when copyright protection may not apply, such as works in the Public Domain and the Fair Use Exception to copyright law, government work products and more.
  4. Computer Law How to Register a Copyright

    How to register a copyright, including basic information that you should know about copyrights before you fill out the forms at the U.S. Copyright Office.
  5. Copyright Copyright Basics: Registration, Protection & Notice

    A basic primer on copyright essentials, what kind of creative work is protected, who owns a copyright, the benefits of registration, how long the protection lasts and more.
  6. Copyright How to Respond to a DMCA Takedown: The Counter Notice

    How the DMCA takedown process works and the counter notice you can send to put content back online that was wrongfully removed pursuant to a takedown notice.
  7. Copyright How to Write a DMCA Takedown Notice

    This article and sample letter will help you create a DMCA takedown notice to quickly remove content that is infringing and violating your copyright and intellectual property.