Copyrights and Trademarks are two of the legal “allies” of today’s intelligent, futuristic businesses.
Think about it – These intellectual property options help you to implement strategies that have been specifically created by law to reserve anything you create to belong exclusively, uniquely to you.
They are two of the principal gateways that have built an entrepreneurial society where people are not afraid to come up with new ideas and rise to new worlds of art, of technology, of genius.
However…..We all know that quarrels happen within that world of capitalistic “entrepreneurialism,” when you are trying to deploy your strategies to become a force in the marketplace. Alright, I am using the word “quarrels” lightly. What I meant to say was: Lawsuits.
For instance – Assume that you came up with an idea for creating Widget A, a brand new, technologically advanced gadget that you have been working on for over ten years.
Or maybe you are more artistic-oriented, and you have taken some unique photographs or written some unique content online or in a book, to express your ideas and demonstrate your uniqueness.
Unfortunately, one day, you are walking down the street and you see your Widget idea, splashed all over a billboard, and Company B, maybe a major corporation, with headquarters about 300 miles away in another state, is announcing on the billboard that they have created a brand new gadget called Widget B, and the public should start coming to buy from them!
Or you are at a museum and you see the very picture that you had taken such pains to create, hanging on one of the walls, and attributed to some unknown name that does not sound remotely like your name.
And so on.
You just got an intellectual property violation of your idea.
Or at least – That is what you think.
Someone else is marketing the thing you created – All your years of hard work, is being attributed to someone else! How did this happen? After all – You submitted a patent application to the Patent Office to register your beautiful Widget A!
You filed a copyright with the Copyright Office to ensure that you had exclusive rights to the picture-photograph you had created.
What are you to do now that someone is using your idea, your creation?
The federal law of Intellectual Property (IP) has remedies for situations when it seems that your original work has been…..stolen.
However, there are times when you may need to go beyond IP Law to find a solution. For instance, there may be questions arising about the geographic location where the other person using the creation comes from, in comparison to the place where you are located. What if the other folks argue that they have a registration pending on the IP creation, just like you, and besides, they are using the work in a geographic location that is different from yours?
While I will not go deep into that particular scenario and what it means, the point I make is that sometimes, you need the backing of not just one type of federal law, but others as well, in order to support your case, especially when dealing with geography and commerce between states, among other things.
In this instance, the Constitutional Law of Interstate Commerce (which every law student or lawyer should be aware of as part of Con Law 101 in school) would be a law to look to as a supplement to your Intellectual Property issue against those other folks that are using your creation.
Therefore – Don’t be stuck on just one kind of remedy. The law has different protections. When you are in business, or seeking to find protections as a private citizen, it is a good thing to remember.
That was my rant on this blog. Don’t you just love the law?