To Patent Or To Copyright Learn How To Legally Protect Your

There is often confusion on whether one has a copyright in a work, or whether they should get a patent for protection. In this article, you will finally come away with a clear understanding on the difference between these two types of intellectual property. The Rights Afforded by Copyright Protection: Copyright protects the expression of literary and artistic work. When a person creates an original work, and have put it in a fixed form, they automatically own the copyright to that work. What this means is the person owns the rights to: reproduce the work, perform the work, record the work, broadcast the work, translate the work, and adapt the work into a different form (i.e. a novel into a screenplay). Copyright Protects Expressions, Not Ideas: A common misunderstanding is that copyright protects ideas. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. What this means is one hundred people can write an article about copyright. However, we each own the copyright to our specific articles because each one is an original and fixed piece of work. The Concepts of Originality and Fixation in Copyright: "Originality" and "fixed" are two important terms in copyright. While the work does not have to be the first of its kind (i.e. this is not the first article ever written about copyright), the expression has to be original (I’m not plagiarizing this article – I have written it myself with original sentence structures and an original flow to the article). As for being ‘fixed’ there is a very good reason for this requirement. For a work to fall under copyright law, it must be in a fixed form – because it would be very difficult to prove what was created if there was no copy of it! A "fixed" form could be something written on paper, recorded onto a CD, recorded on video, or saved on a flash drive. What Copyright Protects: Copyright covers a wide variety of artistic works and they are generally characterized as follows: o Literary Work (novels, poems, computer software source code) o Artistic/Visual Arts (sculpture, drawing, illustration, graphic design, plans, maps, photographs, architectural work) o Dramatic Work (films, videos, choreography), Musical (musical composition with or without words) o Sound Recordings (recordings of music, drama, or lectures) o Serial & Periodicals (periodicals, newspapers, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, annuals, journals, proceedings of societies) Patents Protect Inventions: Patents protect new inventions or useful improvements to existing inventions. Examples are inventions or discoveries of any new and useful process, apparatus, machine, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Patents Must Be Obtained: Unlike copyright which is automatic, a patent must be granted by the government to be valid and can take up to three years with considerable financial investment. If you are going to file for a patent, it is very important you do not disclose your invention to anyone, because it could be grounds to refuse your patent application. Because there is an application process for patents, a patent granted in one country is not valid in another. As such, you will need to apply separately in each country, or through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Qualifications For Patents: For an item/process to qualify for a patent, it must generally be: o new o useful o inventive (in other words, it must not be an obvious invention to someone in the field) Durations of Patents: Once you successfully hold a patent, you have a limited time (usually around 20 years) where you are the only one who can make this item or use the patented process before it is made public. Disclaimer The above information is meant as a general guide to further your copyright and patent knowledge and does not constitute legal advice. For questions about your specific work, you should consult an intellectual property lawyer in your country. 相关的主题文章: