Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law (IP law) provides a structure which protects the legal rights of artists, inventors, musicians, traders, writers and others, referring to the creations of their minds. This protection can often be in the form of registering copyrights, patents or trademarks.

Intellectual property law regulates who owns certain ideas and inventions, and declares the rules on others accessing these intellectual properties. It helps to prevent ideas from being stolen, and the person who owns the IP could potentially receive money from anyone that uses their idea. The aim of intellectual property law is to ‘promote progress’, and providing the creators with protection gives them an increased incentive to disclose their work, because they know they will be suitably rewarded.

Violating the intellectual property law can result in either a civil case or criminal case, depending on the actions taken, jurisdiction and the property involved. If someone infringes on IP, the owner could seek an injunction, claim for damages, or demand that the person gives up the infringing article.

A patent lasts for a set period of time, and allows a creator to decide who is not allowed to manufacture or trade their invention. Copyright lasts for a set period of time, and allows a creator to have exclusive rights to their invention (such as its publishing or performance). A trademark is usually a symbol or words, which represents a company or a creation, and prevents people from producing property that is either the same or very similar to that property.