Table of Contents
Overview of Intellectual Property3
Types of Intellectual Property Rights3
Controversy of Intellectual Property5
Intellectual Property in the Digital Age7
No Electronic Theft Act9
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 19989
Case Study Involving Intellectual Property – Domain Names9 Conclusion11
Overview of Intellectual Property
The term intellectual property refers to the innovations of the human mind. Intellectual property rights protect the interests of these innovators by giving them property rights attached to those ideas. The term "intellectual property rights" stands for these legal rights that authors, inventors, and other creators have. Intellectual property laws relate to a particular way in which ideas or information is expressed or displayed, but not the actual ideas or exact concept itself. The first use of the expression "intellectual property" appears to be October 1845, in Davoll vs. Brown, a patent case in Massachusetts. Justice Charles Woodbury said that "only in this way can we protect intellectual property, the labors of the mind, productions and interests as much a man's own...as the wheat he cultivates, or the flocks he rears." Though coined many years prior, the term has only become popular very recently. It was uncommon to hear the expression until the establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1967, which then actively promoted the term.
Types of Intellectual Property Rights
There are currently many different ways to protect intellectual property. Intellectual property is divided into two main categories: industrial property, which includes patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indication; and copyright.
Patent: This is an exclusive right granted for an invention, a plant, or an appearance. A patent provides protection to the owner of the patent for a limited period, typically 20 years from the filing date of a patent application. There are several types of patents: Utility Patents cover “inventions”, which can be a product, a process that presents a different way of accomplishing something, or provides a new technical solution to a problem. Plant Patents can be approved for the invention or discovery, and the asexual reproduction of, a new variety of a plant, especially if genetic engineering is used. Design Patents refer to a protected appearance of a device, but not its function. Trademark: Many times referred to as a brand name, this is any distinctive sign that identifies certain goods or services provided. This can also be a sound or a fragrance, as well as the appearance or logo of a product. A trademark can usually be renewed indefinitely. Industrial Design: This right protects the form of appearance, style or design of an industrial or handicraft object, and it provides protection for up to 15 years. Geographical Indication: A indicator used on goods that have a specific origin and often possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that place of origin may not be used by those unauthorized to do so, if it will likely mislead as to the origin of the goods. Trade Secrets: This is protected information that is not generally known, and has commercial value because it is secret. Copyright
This protects an author’s or creator’s literary and artistic works, including computer programs, sound recordings, and radio and television programs. It gives the exclusive rights to control reproduction and adaptation of these works. The 1790 Copyright Act established a term of 14 years of protection, which could be renewed, if the author was still living, another 14 years at the end of the term. Now, copyrights last for the life of the author, and an additional 50 years after their death, and may be extended by Congress in the near future.
Controversy of Intellectual Property
The Jewish Talmud has the first known...