Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida
786-574-4943

What kinds of intellectual property are protected?

Miami residents work very hard to make a living for themselves and their families. It can be troubling, in light of this hard work, to think of someone else discrediting or taking advantage of these efforts.

This is why the legal system protects a person's intellectual property, which is the fruits of one's mental labor. Last week, this blog discussed how a complex intellectual property dispute can arise in unsuspecting circumstances.

While intellectual property disputes can form the basis of vigorously contested business litigation, there are different kinds of intellectual property that can be at issue. For instance, a patent is a document issued by the federal government that protects tangible things. The owner of a patent has the right to exclude others from practicing the invention that is covered by the patent.

A trademark, on the other hand, typically protects a name or symbol that identifies the source of goods or services. Trademarks are broad in scope, as they can include words, phrases, designs, sounds or symbols. The trademark establishes that the goods or service come from a single source, and the customer has a certain expectation of quality or identity in that trademark that is beneficial for the holder of the trademark.

Finally, copyrights are statutory property rights that protect various forms of written and artistic expression. The purpose of copyrights is to promote scientific progress and useful arts, which is accomplished by providing economic incentive for the creative activity.

There are different requirements for obtaining patents, trademarks and copyrights. These different forms of intellectual property also raise different legal issues when there is a legal dispute that is raised. Accordingly, those involved in an intellectual property dispute should understand how the legal issues will be impacted by the circumstances of each case.

Source: American Intellectual Property Law Association, "What is IP law?," accessed on Aug. 6, 2016

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