Intellectual property is defined as anything that is the idea or creation of an individual or a collective, collaborative group. If you have created something and wish to protect your creation legally, you might be wondering which type of protection applies to you-- does it need a patent, a trademark or a copyright? Additionally, do you need the assistance of a copyright, trademark or patent lawyer? The following information should help you figure out exactly what you need and what kind of attorney you need to protect your intellectual property.
Copyrights and Copyright Attorneys
Copyrights protect written property, such as books, novels and newspapers or magazines. The substance of these things is owned by the author, unless the author sells the rights to a publisher. If you have written anything, from a joke to a series of novels, and you are about to publish them or are in the process of publishing them, you will want the protective help of a copyright lawyer. He or she can explain the copyrighting process, and the different levels of "rights" (e.g., first rights, all rights, second rights, etc.) you have that you can use to promote and sell your written intellectual property.
Trademarks and Trademark Attorneys
Trademarks are any and all symbols created to represent you and your company or products you produce. For example, if you are a blown glass artist, and you create a symbol representative of your artisan creations that you stamp on the bottom of your products to identify your work, that is a trademark. Having a trademark is in essence a means to identify and protect your property as your own, and unlicensed reproductions are not allowed without your express written or contracted permission. Your trademark attorney helps file all of the necessary legal paperwork for your trademark and anything related to that trademark as your property. He or she may also help you when you have discovered copies or rip-offs of your work or your trademarks.
Patents and Patent Attorneys
Patents protect inventions. It does not matter if your invention is an entirely new product never before seen by human eyes or an improvement on an existing product or existing invention. A patent protects your ideas and designs so that no one else can claim that they created it or came up with the ideas first. A patent attorney like those at Lingbeck Law Office does all of the research for you to make sure your idea/invention/design is original and will not conflict with anyone else's ideas, inventions or designs. The attorney may also help you decide what to name your items so that the names cannot be confused with others in the data banks of the U.S. patent office when you file for patents.