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Understanding Copyrights And Patents

Intellectual property can be a pretty confusing field, but it is also extremely important to just about every person. Consumers, companies, brands, inventors, and just about every adult is heavily affected by intellectual property laws. These laws can play a huge role in determining what you can and cannot do, so it's critical to have a basic understanding of two of the most common forms of intellectual property work:


For many people, copyrights are the most visible types of intellectual property. Many pieces of media are covered in warnings about copyright infringement and the potential penalties for such a transgression.

The general idea is that you can copyright the creative expression of an idea. This can come in the form of a play, movie, video game, book, or song. It's critical to understand that you cannot copyright an idea. Instead, you will need to copyright your specific implementation of that idea.

For example, you cannot copyright a story about a prince that is exiled from his country after the death of his father, only to return later to reclaim his rightful throne. However, you could copyright a book that tells those specific events in a specific fashion.

Other people would then be unable to reproduce your work without your permission for however long you hold the copyright.


While copyrights apply to creative and expressive works, patents are used to protect inventions and the rights of inventors. Specifically, a patent prevents others from making, using, or selling an invention without the express permission of the holder of the patent.

However, inventions can be pretty broad, so there are three main criteria that need to be satisfied when it comes to successfully filing for a patent.

  • Novelty – Obviously, your invention needs to be new. If it has already been used somewhere else, by someone that is not you, then your chances of successfully getting a patent are quite low.

  • Inventive – Your invention also needs to have advantages over existing solutions to the same problem. As long as your invention can be used by someone in the relevant field to some new benefit, it generally satisfies this criteria. However, if it is overly obvious to anyone in your field, then it fails to meet the inventive criteria.

  • Applicable – Your invention must also be usable. If you create an amazing invention for a problem that doesn't actually exist yet, then your invention is not applicable. For more information about business law, contact a company like Souders Law Group.