Innovation and creative solutions are some of the most valuable and desirable achievements for business owners. Many companies pride themselves on being in a position of standard-setting and originality. Protecting the ideas and products that someone creates is often detrimental to a company’s success, which is why it can be crucial for business owners in Colorado to understand intellectual property laws.
A creation of the mind, which can include various types of literary or artistic works, is generally regarded as intellectual property. Patents, copyrights and trade secrets also fall under the category of intellectual property. Business owners and individuals often want to protect these works so that other parties cannot copy them and call them their own. If this is believed to have happened, it is not uncommon for a serious legal dispute to arise.
For example, one man recently filed a lawsuit against various parties responsible for the Fox television show called “Touch.” The man claims that the idea of the show was stolen from work that he created and copyrighted over 10 years ago. In his lawsuit, the man says he had created two separate works: a novel and a screenplay. The executive producer, creator and other parties attached to the “Touch” series were charged with lifting the concept and material for their show from these two sources.
However, a judge recently ruled that the parties were not guilty of copyright infringement. While the projects are thematically similar, the man cannot cite copyright infringement from two separate works. The judge then reiterated that in a claim of this type of misconduct, there must be only the protected work and the infringing work. In this case, the man cited two separate and unrelated protected works. Therefore, the judge dismissed the lawsuit.
Understanding what can and cannot be legally protected by trademarks, copyrights and patents can be difficult for many people. There are complex laws that can have a significant impact on the creator’s rights to the work, so it is important to work with an attorney who understands business law.
Source: Yahoo, “Fox Wins ‘Touch’ Copyright Lawsuit,” Tim Kenneally, Feb. 14, 2013