What is Intellectual Property Law?

What is the difference between patents, trademarks and copyrights?

Intellectual Property Law provides you legal protection for your Intellectual Property. This generally refers to creations of the mind. This can include inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols. The law protects your intellectual property to ensure that you earn recognition and/or financial earnings from your innovations. The intent of the law is to encourage creativity and innovations to flourish by guaranteeing benefits to you, the creator.

Types of Intellectual Property protection

There are three types of Intellectual Property protection: patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

  • Patents protect the invention of tangible products, useful processes, and ornamental designs of products. Tangible products are any physical objects that can be perceived by touch. For example, a bicycle, a ball, and a computer chip are all tangible products. The federal government issues a patent in the form of documentation that gives the owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, distributing, or selling the tangible product described in the documents. This means if you invent something new, like a better mouse trap, no one else can make, use, distribute, or sell that mouse trap without your permission. Patents are valid for 20 years after the date of filing an application for the patent.
  • 1957-NBC-PeacockCopyrights protect different forms of written and artistic expressions. This may include books, poetry, paintings, sculpture, films, advertisements, songs, music, computer programs, maps, technical drawings, databases, and a number of other types of works. Copyright protection gives the creator the economic and moral rights to their work. For individual creators, copyright protection lasts their entire life plus an additional 70 years. This is so the heirs of the creator may benefit from the creation. For creators who were anonymous, working under a pseudonym, or worked for hire, copyright protection will last 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter. Although it is not always necessary, it is best to show your claim to the copyright for published material. Generally you should put the symbol ©, the word “copyright”, or the abbreviation “Copr” in close proximity to the first year of publication and the name of the copyright owner. For example:
    ©2022 Apex Juris
  • Our attorneys can help you obtain Federal Copyright Registration for your material and can also help you if you believe someone is using your copyrighted material without your permission or has plagerized your material.
martin bydalek photo (c) _2-17_01


Contact Apex Juris

Talk to one of our patent attorneys.

Patent Infringement

Patent Infringement is when someone uses a patented product without the permission of the patent’s holder. Permission from patent holders may be received through a licensing agreement. Apex Juris lawyers can help you draft a licensing agreement and can help you negotiate agreements with opposing parties. For example, if you own the patent for a product and you would like someone else to manufacture and sell your product, you may grant them a license. This typically requires the licensee to pay you for the license. On the other hand, if you would like to manufacture or sell a patented product, you must receive a license from the patent holder. The license will outline what you will pay the patent holder for the privilege of manufacturing or selling the patented product. A patent infringement occurs when someone uses a patented product without a licensing agreement. When this happens, a patent attorney can litigate on behalf of the patent owner and claim a patent infringement. Inventors and companies should exercise caution when granting licensing agreements. Purchasers may neglect their responsibilities. For example, they may not pay the agreed price, they may sell in a market that was not agreed upon, or they may make unauthorized changes to the product. This could even involve Patent Extortion. However, properly drafted documents and oversight by an Apex patent attorney can make patent licensing deals an excellent way for a patent holder to receive monetary benefits from her invention or patent.

Misusing a Trademark or Copyright is also protected under law and our attorneys can help you navigate your options and regain control of your property.

Learn more about the patent application process.
Why does an inventor need a patent attorney?

Owner Rights • Save Money • Protection

Learn More

What do you need to market an invention?

Patentability • Utility • Novelty

Learn More

What is the patent application process?

Options • Application • Filing

Learn More