There were 2.6 million applications for patents filed in 2013 all around the planet. This represented a 9% increase from 2012. Copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the author dies. This is all important information to know. Intellectual property in the United States has a net worth of somewhere between $5 and $5.5 trillion, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Intellectual Property Center. Intellectual property theft costs the U.S. economy about $58 billion every year, according to the Council of State Governments. This figure includes $3 billion is lost tax revenue and $16 billion is loses for copyright owners. Intellectual property law may be a very dry subject but it is an important one as well.
The Basics of Intellectual Property Law:
This branch of the legal field covers non-physical assets. This covers web pages, novels and poems, songs, artworks such as paintings, drawings and sculptures, scientific research, inventions and various designs. It is broken down into several categories such as patent law, copyright law and trademark law. Patents are given for inventions. Copyright refers to artistic creations and similar works. Trademarks are awarded to businesses.
How do Intellectual Property Lawyers Help?
Intellectual property attorneys work with inventors, artists and entrepreneurs to protect their work. Usually, they are called in when someone has tried to use a piece of art or in some other way have sought to use someone else’s intellectual property without their consent or authorization. Currently, there is a lawsuit against the band, Led Zeppelin, who has been accused of stealing some of the song “Stairway to Heaven” from another musician.
They can also help register the intellectual property. Patent lawyers can be very helpful when an inventor wants to apply for a patent for an invention. In this capacity, they help protect the intellectual property before the product may even have been fully developed. In fact, it is always a good idea to at least chat with a patent lawyer when new products are being developed. The copyright process is very complicated and copyright lawyers can help.
I Need an Intellectual Property Lawyer, How Do I Find One?
- What kind of intellectual property law has been violated. Are you protecting an invention, artistic work or business plan? That may narrow down your search. You want a lawyer that has experience with your kind of cases. There are intellectual property lawyers who work with more than one subsection of intellectual property law but you should know what you are looking for before you start looking.
- Talk to your friends and family. If you know people who have gotten patent applications approved, ask them what intellectual property lawyer they used. How did they find them? What was it like working with them? Getting personal recommendations for good and services is always the way to go if you can. You may not go with the same person but this will give you a good place to start.
- Make sure the intellectual property lawyer you hire understands what you are protecting. If you have invented something, you need to go to someone who understands your industry but also they need to really get what you have created. This will help them find other uses for it and other markets where it can be successful. If they do not understand what your invention does, it is going to be very hard for them to complete your application correctly. The better versed they are in your industry, the more they will be able to help you.
- Use the internet. You can do a search for intellectual property lawyers and then go to Facebook and Yelp. There are lots of forums out there for inventors, authors and artists where people talk about this very thing.
- You do not have to use someone near you. Intellectual property law does not vary from state to state. It is a federal thing. It is far more important that you find someone who understands what you do and have created than to get someone who works near you.
Do your research and you will find the right intellectual property lawyer for your product, invention, research piece of art or music.