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Intellectual Property Law

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.


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