BUL 4421 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Trademark Dilution, Limitations And Exceptions To Copyright, United States Patent And Trademark Office
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Intellectual property results from the creative mind. In some cases it may exceed the value of
physical, tangible, assets.
1. Patents-gives inventors right to exclude others from making, using or selling their
invention. Lasts for a period of 20 years. First person to invent, not file, gets protection.
Protection begins on the day it is filed. After 20 years it enters the public domain. In most
patents are licensed and users are charged royalties.
2. Trademarks- distinctive mark thar affixed goods to its producers, ie. nike swoosh, toyota
symbol. It is a source indicator. It is so that the product does not get confused from other
manufacturers. Trademark must be registered w trademark office (USPTO) if it should
be protected. Suing against someone using the trademark is asking for money for losses
and a court order to make someone stop using the mark. Lanham trademark act
established that noncompeting goods/services can use each other’s trademarks btu this
changed in the trademark dilution act of ‘95.
3. Trade secrets-ie. Coke’s secret formula
4. Copyrights-intangible right est. by copyright act of ‘76. Right is granted automatically and
is granted to life of author plus 70 yrs. You don’t have to register it. Literary, music,
dramatic works, choreographic works. A violating copy does not have to reproduce it or
mirror it entirely. When suing over it you can get money and compensation.
Laws protecting these are designed to protect owners and reward creativity.
Service marks are like trademarks except for services, ie. mcdonalds golden arches, walmart.
Trademark dilution act- you can’t use a trademark that is similar even if it won’t confuse
Stop counterfeiting in manu. Goods act (2006)- counterfeiting may cause criminal and civil
Fair use exception- you may reproduce Copyright materials for research, critics, commentary,
news, etc. If it isn’t for commercial nature it is allowed.
Computer software copyright act 1980- extends copyright exceptions to computers by
considering them literary works.