WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
Collins Legal IP Lawyer Decodes: Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) most often refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. However, IP is about more than your product specifications or your client list—it’s about your business’ success. All of the hard work you put into developing your company is what sets you apart from the others. That is why it’s important to protect your intellectual property.
intellectual property relates closely to property rights in general
In order to fully understand intellectual property, you have to understand property rights in general. As a property owner, you have specific rights guaranteed by both state and federal law. Just as property rights protect your places or things, it also includes that which is not tangible, such as brand names used in commerce and expert knowledge.
where do intellectual property laws come from
Intellectual property laws allow owners of patents, trademarks and copyrighted works to benefit from their work or investment in a creation. In fact, the U.S. Constitution recognizes the importance of intellectual property, and grants Congress the power to pass intellectual property laws to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts.”
As for intellectual property itself, there are three recognizable forms: copyright, trademark, and patent. Below you’ll find a short definition of each:
- Copyright: The exclusive right to use and distribute an original work
- Trademark: The exclusive right to use a mark, such as a recognizable sign, design, or expression, in commerce in connection with specific goods and services
- Patent: The exclusive right granted to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years
Aside from those categories, there is much more that makes up intellectual property rights. For example:
- A trade secret, which is a commercially valuable and protected secret, is backed up by trade secret laws.
- Sometimes expert knowledge can also be viewed as intellectual property!
- Companies can gain exclusive rights to expert knowledge by signing contracts.
- Additionally, customer lists and user interfaces can all be intellectual property.
Our team at Collins Legal has an experienced intellectual property lawyer practicing in the Nashville and middle Tennessee areas. Call our office to request a consultation.