The term Intellectual Property is a specialized area of law that has been defined in numerous ways. In essence, the term refers to a creative work that is manifested in a tangible form which is subject to protection by law. These “intangible interests” can be the most significant business assets of a company which can be bought, sold or licensed for profit. The traditionally recognized forms of intellectual property are trademarks (including, domain names that function as trademarks), copyrights, patents and trade secrets. In a number of foreign countries, “industrial property” is the umbrella designation for trademarks, patents and related interests. Electronic commerce technology allows even small businesses to enter and successfully compete in the national and global market. However, until the fairly recent advent of groups such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and certain international treaties designed to unify protection of intellectual property worldwide, businesses faced considerable uncertainties and risks in this brave new world. Although the landscape of intellectual property law continues to evolve nationally and internationally, understanding basic concepts of intellectual property identification, development and protection can help a business avert potential problems here and abroad.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is any term, design, number or combination of these elements that is applied to goods or services to enable the consumer can identify the particular source of the goods or services. A service mark is a trademark, but the term refers specifically to a mark used to identify the source of one’s services. There is no legal difference between the two. What is “Good Will”? A mere trademark has no inherent value. Its value is the “good will” that results from consumer association and recognition of the mark with the source of the product or service on or in connection with which the mark is used in commerce. Put another way, an agreement to assign or license a trademark is not valid without its good will. We’ll cover Trade Secrets & the importance of good contracts in my next blog post.
Thanks for reading,
Zulieve Law LLC