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Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

Advantages and disadvantages of being protected by copyright, trademark and patents?

I need to do a business presentation informing potential inventors and innovators and I have to list the advantages and disadvantages of patents, copyright and trademarks. I have endlessly searched the internet but cannot find anything anywhere? help?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Copyrights are free and automatic (after 1989). But they only cover the "expression of an idea", not the idea itself. Functional aspects of an artistic sculpture are not protected by copyright. They will eventually expire. THey are international (Bern Convention, etc). There are criminal sanctions available against people who make a profit or steal your profit by infringing copyright. Also statutory damages. It is somewhat difficult to determine exactly what is the status of a copyright unless you know when it was first created, who the author is, when it was published, where it was published, the nationality of the author, when or if the author died, whether the work was published with necessary formalities (prior to 1989), etc.

    Patents are expensive and only issued after examination, which can take years. They protect inventions including machines, chemical compositions, processes, etc. Other types of patents protect ornamental designs or certain plants. Patents last only a couple of decades and are difficult and expensive to protect. However, they prevent anyone from making, using, selling or importing your invention in any country where you have obtained and maintained a valid patent. To sue on a patent you must have an issued patent in the country where the alleged infringement occurred. Just FILING patent applications in twenty countries may cost over $100,000. Then there are prosecution fees, issuance fees, annual maintenance fees, etc. Enforcing a patent in a US Federal Court will cost upwards of a million dollars.

    Trademarks (in the USA) are automatic from the first use in commerce. However, your protection is only limited to your local use and for the present goods and serviices to which you attach your brand. You can optionally register you brand in any state, but most valuable brands are registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office, meaning more paperwork and fees. However, the issued registration can be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark ANYWHERE in the USA, and any countries named in your Madrid Protocol International protection application (more fees), pertaining to the classifications of goods or services you have registered. Common law trademark protections (Lanham Act) last as long as you continue to use your trademark. Registrations expire if you do not maintain them.

    Some works are protected by patents, copyrights and trademarks simultaneously. Like a NIKE shoe" the functions and ornamental designs (and maybe the tread) are patented, the NIKE name and logo are trademarks, and any photos, descriptions, advertising, video, etc describing or showing them. are copyrighted.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    As someone who has spent years in the patent business, I regard copyright with near contempt. I have some idea of what it takes to get an invention protected by patent and on the market. A lot of time, money and effort. In some cases the invention may have a background of ten years research before the first patent application is prepared. There is a lot of sweat there as well. It will generally take three to five years to get a patent application through and probably two out of three applications never make it. The result is a patent that lasts 20 years, 25 at the most and it is only live if you keep paying a fee to the patent office. This fee is small at first but gets higher as the patent gets older. That fee is paid in all countries, so paying the European Patent Office does not keep your patent live in the USA or anywhere else. During the life of the patent anyone may take part of the invention, modify it slightly and that's another invention. You may get a licence fee from them, either by agreement or enforced by the courts, but if then part they use is considered to be small, they may not have to pay a fee at all. Contrast this with the pop music industry. A few people spend maybe three days, maybe a few of weeks kludging a song together. It does not have to make sense, all it has to do is sound good enough. Maybe two days in the recording studio going over and over it and then the engineers get to work After maybe 300 person - hours of work you have a saleable product. The copyright on this is automatic, free and it lasts in some cases for 70 years after the artists die. You do not have to consult an intellectual or industrial property lawyer, you don't even have to register it with a government agency for a $5 fee. You put the thing on the market and if it is going to make money it will do so within five yeas, usually less than two. From then on unless it is a huge international hit the royalties are chicken feed. If your copyright ran out after ten years you'd never notice the difference. Take the 1959 movie "North by Northwest" which would have been one of the higher quality offerings from Hollywood that year. A lot of effort went into making it and that shows. But how long did it take the studio to get their money back and turn a tidy profit after release? More than likely just a few months. By 1969 the royalties would have just about dried up. Made in 1959, it is still covered by copyright, but the patent on the fibre Spandex invented the same year would have run out by about 1980. Does this seem fair or reasonable? Not to me.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Disadvantages Of Copyright

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