Among a large number of other subjects, the law devotes considerable attention to property rights. This area of the law concerns itself with rights of possession, control, exclusion and enjoyment of different kinds of property including real property (real estate), personal property (automobiles, golf clubs and jewelry), intangible property (shares of stock) and intellectual property. Intellectual Property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized.
The exclusive rights of the owner of Intellectual Property are categorized in familiar areas of the law referred to as patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
Although many of the legal principles governing intellectual property have evolved over centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the term intellectual property began to be used, and not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the majority of the world. The British Statute of Anne 1710 and the Statute of Monopolies 1623 are now seen as the origins of copyright and patent law respectively. In the United States, the laws relating to patents and copyrights have their sole basis in federal statutes1. Trademark law is governed by the federal Lanham Act of 19462 but also has common law and state statutory foundations. Trade secret law is largely dictated by the common law and state statutes.
This web site will deal separately with patents, copyrights and trademarks and you are invited to click on the appropriate tab to locate information on these subjects and how the firm of Hanes Hrbacek and Bartels can assist you in understanding more about these areas of the law and getting the assistance that you need.
1 35 United States Code and 17 United States Code respectively. 2 15 United States Code
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