Posts Tagged Copyright

Intellectual Property Basics

Businesses in Florida own many different types of assets including real property, personal property and intellectual property. It is commonly understood that real property includes real estate and anything attached to it, such as an office building or residential home. Personal property includes all other physical assets such as equipment, desks and inventory. However, many people are unclear what constitutes intellectual property. Intellectual property is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a category of intangible rights protecting commercially valuable products of human intellect.” Intellectual property includes ownership rights over names, logos, works of art, literary works, ideas, inventions, computer code, and more. Just as you can own real or personal property, you can also own intellectual property. These ownership rights are protected by federal and state law which were designed to help the creation and use of ideas in our economy. These laws separate intellectual property into copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets, and understanding which one applies to your property is the first step to protecting it. What is a Copyright? A copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. If you write a book, for example, you would apply for a copyright to protect your rights to the content of the book. Copyright protection is provided by Title 17 of the United States Code and all copyrights are registered in the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. A copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the protected work. This includes displaying art or performing musical or literary works in public. A more recent development is the protection of computer software with copyrights. Copyrighted material is often marked with the © symbol. The term of copyright protection depends on