When you create something, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with it. Your creation came from something you dreamed, imagined, designed, and executed. It came from you, and it is yours. However in today’s competitive world, where not everyone you meet is going to be an honest person or one with integrity, it has become more and more necessary to protect your creation and your rights as its creator. Patent lawyers and trademark attorney services have seen an increase in demand over the years, and at the current rates, it seems that the men and women who find themselves in this line of work will have plenty to keep them employed for years to come.
Why you may need a trademark attorney
Trademark attorney services are necessary to protect your rights as the owner of a logo, symbol, word or phrase that you have registered to represent you, your brand, or your goods or services. The right attorney can help you to get your trademark officially registered, and to protect your rights if you suspect or encounter infringement. If someone attempts to use your registered trademark without your permission, they could end up paying damages, fees, and even the cost of legal fees.
Understanding the difference between types of intellectual rights
Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all versions of legal protection for different types of intellectual property. While trademarks protect logos or phrases that represent a specific brand, patents and copyrights protect the works themselves.
- Patents and copyrights
- What is a patent?
A patent is used to protect an invention or product in an attempt to discourage others from replicating it. There are different types of patents with different terms. A design patent lasts 14 years from the date that it was granted, and a utility patent will typically last 20 years from the date the application priority filling date. The number of patent applications filed in the United States every year doubled to over 520,000 over the course of a 12 year period, and in the last 20 years lawsuits regarding patents have gone up from about 500 a year to almost 3,000 each year.
- What is a copyright?
A copyright is the protection of intellectual property in the form of literature, music, dramatic works, and art. After the beginning of 1978, copyright laws state that the rights will belong to the author for 70 years after they pass away. As these types of work are sometimes more difficult to prove actual ownership, the lawsuits and number of infringement cases regarding them are quite high. The Council of State Governments estimates that the economy in the United States loses about $58 billion each and every year just to copyright infringement, which include $16 billion from copyright owners in loss of revenue, and $3 billion in lost tax dollars.
Intellectual property is valuable. It is something that helps us to continue to progress as a society and as a species, and each person who contributes should be able to have that contribution properly recognized as their own.