INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
State and federal laws endow individuals with means of protection and rights for their creative works in the form of: Patents, Copyrights, Trade Secrets and Trademarks. The US Constitution empowers Congress with the mandate of creating and passing laws that relate to intellectual property. Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution expressly vests Congress with power to allow inventors and authors of creative works patents and copyrights. Meanwhile, to guarantee eligibility, a work must be available in a fixed medium from which it can be relayed directly or through the use of devices. The medium can be known or to be developed at a later stage. Works which are eligible for copyrights include architectural works, choreography, sound recordings, motion pictures, dramas and plays, music literature, graphics and sculptures as well as pictorial work.
Patents A patent confers monopolistic powers to an individual or organization, enabling it to sell, offer to sell, make or use a particular invention as a right in the United States, or import to the US for a limited period of time. Notably, the purpose of patents is to enable inventors to take their resources and make use of available pools of information to develop new discoveries. These efforts provide for the nobility of ingenuity in improving the lives of communities. Early historical accounts are not expressly detailed on aspects of intellectual property such as trademarks and patents. The Statute of Monopolies was the earliest and best-known legislation during the medieval times. It was detailed and originated in Britain in 1623. During these times, guilds sat in the seat of power in all major industries and effectively regulated and oversaw all the activities of all industries.
Intellectual Property Rights in Colonial US Following the independence of the US from Britain, the majority of the states preferred to establish and enforce their own intellectual rights with the exception of Delaware. The disjointed nature of enforcement in each state coupled by the unified nature of entertainment, the states soon realized that maintaining these laws was not a walk in the part (Cornish, Llewelyn & Aplin, 2003). On this note, federal laws were established to cater for these problems and ensure harmony in the governance of intellectual property laws and they subsequently gained precedence over state laws. Global Intellectual Property The global inception of international protection of intellectual property commenced in 1883 at the Paris Convention. Markedly, this agreement allowed inventors and authors to protect their intellectual property beyond the borders of their nations.
San Francisco, the federal judge presiding over these cases, was persuaded to notice wrongdoing on the part of Napster Inc and subsequently ordered for an immediate end to its free file sharing capacities. Meanwhile, the company declared bankruptcy shortly afterwards but was revived as a paid online music service. Additionally, the National Music Publisher Association was paid up $130 million in damages for attempts by other companies to keep Napster in operation during its financial struggles. This case deservedly earns its place as a remarkable contributor to the enforcement of copyrights and defines the 21st century in as far peer to peer sharing of files is concerned. Baigent & Leigh v Random House Group Ltd Published by the Random House Group Ltd, Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci Code claims of a given superiority in race of persons born from the biblical Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
Consequently, Judge Brandeis allowed Kellogg to keep on using the shape of their cereal as well as the manufacture of its product with the reasoning being that the shape was of a functional nature while the name “shredded-wheat” connoted a description of the product and hence un-trademark-able. The Judge’s decision remains instrumental in future cases on whether a product is trademarkable based on descriptive or generic aspects. d. Personal Perspective Intellectual property rights are undoubtedly one of the most significant laws governing the country. They are pivotal in the control of innovations and massively aid developmental initiatives in the country. Due to hardships in enforcement, intellectual property rights have fallen to the responsibility of the Federal government as opposed to each state enforcing their own set of rules.
Growth of the intellectual property law has gained international cognition through the years leading to international conventions and meetings to increase coverage and protection to individuals and organizations across the borders of their primary countries. Cases such as A&M Record Inc v Napster Inc, Baigent & Leigh v Random House Group Ltd, and Kellogg Co. v National Biscuit Co have been pivotal to the development of intellectual property law in the US. Although these relentless pursuits of strict enforcement of intellectual property laws negatively affects creativity and innovation in developing countries, it is an asset in improving the lives of the persons abroad as well as within our borders. 719, 2007 E. W. C. A. Civ 247 (2006). , Clark, S. , & Fazzani, L. Intellectual property law.
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