An image, a name, a likeness, an idea, a recording, a work of art, a logo — these are all examples of intellectual property. An infringement lawsuit may be filed when someone believes their intellectual property has been used without permission. Whether you have been sued for infringement or are seeking to pursue an intellectual property claim, the Blum Law Firm can help.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is a term that is often used to describe the exclusive rights of owners to intangible assets such as artistic, musical and literary works. It includes the rights to words, phrases, symbols and designs and encompasses patents, inventions and trade secrets. Intellectual property owners may reap substantial financial benefits from their creations.
Two of the most common areas of intellectual property litigation are copyright and trademark law.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright is an intangible right given to the author or originator of a literary or artistic production. Works of authorship to which copyright extends include:
- Literary works
- Musical works
- Dramatic works
- Choreographic works
- Pictures, graphics and sculptures
- Sound recordings
If someone uses one of these works without the permission of the owner, copyright litigation to enforce and protect the intellectual property rights of the author may be filed.
What Is Trademark?
Trademark refers to the ownership of a distinctive symbol or a collection of words. Trademarks, used to distinguish goods and services, include:
- A company name, such as Google or Bing!
- A product name, such as iPad or Kleenex
- A logo like the one used by Coca-Cola
- A tagline — for instance, “Got milk?”
Unauthorized use of distinctive marks may be grounds for trademark infringement lawsuit. Some examples of such unauthorized use include a company’s adoption of a name or product name that is noticeably similar to an existing one or the display of a logo in a movie without the trademark owner’s permission.