If you’ve ever thought “I have the best name to patent” or “I really need to trade mark the way this game works”, then this article is for you.
Let’s get the lingo correct before you decide it’s time to call your friendly IP attorney.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, here are the definitions of some intellectual property terms:
A patent is defined as “a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention”.
A trade mark is defined as “a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.”
What about copyright? Copyright is the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.
According to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission:
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
A trade mark is defined as a brand name, a slogan or a logo. It identifies the services or goods of one person and makes them different from the goods and services of another.
Copyright is explained as an exclusive right granted by law for a limited period to an author or owner for their original work.
And a design was given the following definition: essentially a "Design" relates to shapes and features that appeal to the eye. Some designs are necessitated by function and others are aesthetic. Designs relate to the shape, form, appearance, pattern, ornamentation and configuration of a product or article for example, the design of a ring is generally dictated by aesthetic features.
According to our IP attorneys:
Patent: a certificate which grants an inventor certain rights associated with their invention.
Trade Mark: a mark which is used by a person or company to distinguish their goods or services from another.
Copyright: exclusive rights given to the creator or owner of an, amongst others, artistic, literary, or musical work.
Design: a certificate which grants rights associated with the appearance of an article, whether aesthetic or functional.
So next time you have come up with a fantastic name for your product (think: Coca-Cola for a soft drink), solved a problem (hello telephone), design a line of jewellery or have come up with the next best screenplay (Shakespeare, is that you?) you now have the right lingo to get you started.
For more information on intellectual property contact Hahn & Hahn at [email protected].