Last week we introduced some basics about intellectual property licensing. In that post, we explained that license agreements facilitate formal relationships between entities that own intellectual property like trademarks or copyrights, and individuals or businesses seeking to license the right to use that property, usually commercially.
News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law
- Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
- Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
- Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law
The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.
The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.
At our law firm, we advise and represent clients in a wide range of issues regarding intellectual property licensing. In such a license, the owner of intellectual property grants to another person or company the right to use the intellectual property like a trademark, copyright or right of publicity.
In the context of artwork, licenses are contracts in which artists grant to other parties -- often manufacturers -- the legal right to use their copyrighted creative works in exchange for flat fees or royalties based on a percentage of sales, sometimes with advances up front.
Like any work of art, the argument might be made that music serves little purpose if it is not shared in some form of public setting. But just because you have bought the sheet music for a particular song, it would be a mistake to assume you have secured the right to perform that piece for anyone other than close friends or family.
Tapping into a broader market is often a key goal of a small to medium enterprise. The reason is simple; there's potential revenue in such expansions. Why leave it on the table?
"She's not going to be passed around," said the federal judge before "Grumpy Cat" was brought into the California courtroom. She sat in a cat carrier as she awaited her owner's testimony in a licensing violation case. She is not expected to testify.
What's your market? That's a fundamental question an entrepreneur needs answered to succeed. If you can't identify who will buy your product or service, you can't easily communicate your value proposition to the right people.
There is art for art's sake, and there is art that has marketable value. If you are a creator with a desire to monetize your creations, finding ways to do it and protect your intellectual property rights at the same time can be frustrating. Navigating the choppy waters of copyright law is easier with an experienced pilot, a skilled IP attorney, at the wheel.
For businesses in highly competitive industries, patent protection is an important avenue for protecting valuable intellectual property from competitors. Two of the most commonly used types of patents are utility and design patents.
Typically, once an inventor or artist has created a product that is ready to be brought to market, he or she is left with a very important decision. Should they sell the licensing rights to a company to produce and sell the product so that the creator can collect royalties from the sales, or should they sell the IP rights to the company, or try to produce and sell the item through their own business. This is not an easy decision to make and can be dependent on numerous other factors that need to be weighed.