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Patent and copyright law
Understanding Patent and Copyright Law
Patent and copyright law gives the inventor the exclusive rights to the invention. No one else can produce the invention for a set period of time under patent and copyright law. Patent and copyright law is set up to protect inventors. The law on patents can be found in the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 and in Title 35 of the United States Code.
The agency that is in charge of patent laws is a Federal Agency known as the Patent and Trademark Office. Anyone who applies for a patent will have their application reviewed by an examiner. The examiner will decide if a patent should be granted to the inventor. Individuals who have their patent application turned down can appeal it to the Patents Office Board of Appeals.
Just because someone has a patent does not mean that they have the right to use, make or sell the invention. For instance, if a drug company comes up with a new drug, they can get a patent on it. However, it would not be available to be sold to the general public until the drug becomes approved by other regulatory bodies. Likewise, someone may invent an improvement to an existing product, yet they will not be allowed to produce or sell the item until they obtain a license to do so from the owner of the original patent holder.
For someone to receive a patent, as stated, they must fill out an application on their invention. The application will entail the details of the invention and how it is made. In addition, the person applying for a patent must make claims that point to what the applicant deems or regards as his or her invention. A patent may have many claims with it. The claims protect the patent owner and notify the public exactly what the individual has patented or owns.
If someone infringes upon patent and copyright law, it is usually enforced in a civil court setting. The owner of the patent will generally bring a civil lawsuit against the person who has infringed upon their patent and ask for monetary compensation. In addition, the patent owner can seek an injunction which would prohibit the violator from continuing to engage in any acts that would infringe upon their patent in the future.
Many patent owners will make licensing agreements (or contracts) with others. These agreements allow another person or company to use someone?s patented invention in return for royalties. In addition, some patent holders who are competitors may agree to license their patents to each other to expand both of their profits.
Most everything we use in our day to day life was invented by someone. That person had to seek out a patent for their invention. Patent and copyright law protects inventors from having their ideas and inventions stolen out from under them. This makes the playing field more level for individuals. Without these laws, the marketplace would be out of control and the small guy would probably be eaten alive by big business
Copyright infringement case Learning Copyright Law through Copyright Infringement Cases Copyright infringement cases can be both costly and time consuming. Considering copyright infringement is something that isn?t as easily defined as theft or speeding, there are numerous copyright infringement cases that are changing the way copyright law is viewed in the United States of America. By reviewing a few of these copyright infringement cases, you?ll be able to get a better idea of what is, and is not, acceptable use of copyrighted works. As a forward, however, you?ll need to know a little bit about copyright law. Most copyright lawsuits are brought to the courts because a copyright owner has found their copyright is being used outside the copyright laws. This usually means that the copyright holder hadn?t been asked for permission to use the work, or if they had, that the work is not being used in an agreed-upon context or they have not been paid royalties. The copyright infringement cases, listed below, give a sampling of what goes to the Supreme Court in copyright infringement. Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Co (6th Cir. 1996) This copyright infringement case was brought upon the Supreme Court in 1996 regarding the copyright of a database. The supreme court, in this instance, decided that compilations of data (such as in a database) are only protected by copyright when they are ?arranged and selected in an original manner.? Although the level of originality needed to make the database copyright-able is not very high, the pages of a directory such as a phone book are not protect-able because the data contained therein is arranged geographically, then alphabetically. Because of this, the data was not original enough to warrant a copyright infringement charge, and the competing telephone company was allowed to tap into their competitors? database and use that data in their own work without liability. Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc (6th Cir 1996) This case has to do with the ?fair use? law, which is defined in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107. In this case, a photocopying service was sued for copyright infringement for making ?course packs? for the University of Michigan. In this case, a course pack was a group of reading materials assigned by a professor ? then the course pack was bound together by a professional copy shop. In the fair use system, there is a system available for payment of copyright fees to publishers whose works are used in course materials, the printing shop owner refused to pay the copyright cost. When it went to the Supreme Court, they analyzed the fair use code and found that it was NOT fair use, and the printing shop had to pay the copyright costs. As you can see, copyright infringement cases are cases in which someone violates the rights of a copyright owner, as provided by 17 USC §106, or of the author as provided in §106A. These copyright infringement cases can be taken to either criminal or civil court, and can carry with it a hefty fine. Copyright infringement cases are brought upon people who violate copyrights every day. In recent times, you?ll find many copyright cases in relation to electronic copyrights ? such as those you?d find on a website or PDF file, as well as other digital media such as music and audio files. It?s probable that you?ve seen copyright cases brought against the common person ? such as a child or family ? for downloading digital music in the form of MP3s. In the current internet age we?re in, it?s not surprising to see so many music and video copyright cases brought to us because of peer to peer file sharing made possible by the internet. You can be certain that until people know the rules of copyright, and downloading copyrighted material from the internet that we?ll see many more copyright cases.