Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks: The Basics

The economy of California has always been greatly dependent upon the ideas of inventors and entrepreneurs. Entertainment, technology, fashion, and many other industries are dependent upon new ideas. These ideas are intellectual property. Their owners have legal property rights in them, and it is important for these property rights to be protected. For decades, inventors and entrepreneurs across Orange County have trusted the Jafari Law Group to protect their intellectual property rights. Our experienced attorneys know what legal tools to use to create the strongest and most comprehensive legal protection for intellectual property. Call (949) 362-0100 to schedule your free consultation.

What is Intellectual Property?
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property refers to creations of the mind. This includes inventions, literary and artistic works, and designs, symbols, and names used in commerce. A person who invents such intellectual property has legal property rights in that intellectual property. These property rights can be significant: for example, movie producers often make millions of dollars off screenplays and other intellectual property they purchase. Technology companies can be valued at billions of dollars due to the hardware, software, and systems processes they own. Because these intellectual property rights can be so significant, it is critical that owners protect their legal rights in their intellectual property.

What Are Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks?
An individual or company can protect intellectual property by filing the appropriate copyright, patent, or trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copyright protects “original works of authorship.” The 1976 Copyright Act gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce the copywritten work, produce derivative works, distribute copies of the work, and to perform or display the work publicly.

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C.§ 101, patents can be awarded to any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers three types of patents: utility (for a “new and useful process”), design (for a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture) and plant (for distinct and new varieties of plants).

According to the United State Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is generally a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Trademarks are important for companies whose sales are based largely on branding. Celebrity endorsements, company names, product lines, and other well-known names are common examples of intellectual property that should be trademarked to protect the value therein.

It is important to select the correct type of protection for your specific intellectual property. An experienced intellectual property attorney can help you choose the right legal tools for the most comprehensive protection of your property rights.

Experienced Legal Advice for the Protection of Your Intellectual Property
If you have questions about protecting your intellectual property, be sure to contact the Jafari Law Group as soon as possible. Our experienced intellectual property attorneys have decades of experience in protecting intellectual property holders throughout Orange County. Call (949) 362-0100 to schedule your free consultation. Don’t delay – the sooner an attorney reviews your case, the better protected your intellectual property will be.