Three words come into play in the study and practice of intellectual
property law: trademark, copyright and patent. But the law is not as
cut and dry. With technology advancing faster than people could predict,
law is playing catch up.
But first what do those three words mean?
Patents - granted on manufactured
articles, machines, compositions of matter, and industrial processes.
Copyright – generally
literary and artistic works of authors and artists
Trademark - exclusive right
to use a specific mark, word, or symbol to identify a product or service.
Does print copyright protect a work from electronic publication? Can a
university claim ownership to a professor’s thoughts and theories?
Can music be shared on the Internet? Who’s to blame for the Internet
copying of DVDs?
These are all questions intellectual property law has begun
to answer, but will likely face more debates in the near future.