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By creating a system of IP law, the US government not only headed down a new, somewhat hairy, bureaucratic path, but itgave voice to a sense that there is a balance to be struck between the impossibility of restricting the circulation ofideas, and the need to find some way to reward individuals who spend their lives inventing, authoring, or otherwise creatingand improvig ideas.

Institutions of us ip law.

From this constitutional mandate, Congress has passed a number of federal laws, which both govern the legal and illegal aspects of IPand actually create institutions to manage and oversee the resulting issues. These three federal areas are copyright, patent and trademark(trademark actually derives from the constitution in Section 8, clause 3, the power to regulate interstate commerce). In addition to thesethree main areas, there is also law relating to "trade secrets" which is not federal, but state (in the US) and generally functions only toprotect commercial enterprises from the unfair appropriation of information it has taken steps to protect. (Compare this with thenotion of personal privacy; is there a version of a "trade secret" for individuals?)

In the case of copyright, the Library of Congress was designated as the body which would house copyrightedworks, maintain a registry, and publish circulars concerning the rules and regulations (Title 17). In the case of patents the congress created a new office, the Patent and Trademark Office.The USPTO oversees patent law (title 35) and trademark law (Section 22 of Title 15). In addition, this institution also publishes its ownelaborate Code of Federal Regulations that govern how the office will grant and review patents and trademarks--that is, how it will carryout the federal law.

  • what's explicitly protected?
    • literary, musical works (+lyrics), dramatic works (+music), pantomime, dance, choreographic works, pictirial, graphicand sculptural works, motionpictures, audiovisual recordings, sound recordings, architectural workssoftware, "mask works" of semiconductors, music videos, designs
  • What's explicitly not covered?
    • US Government works.
  • How long are works covered for?
    • Currently, an author gets life + 70 years. A "work for hire" (where the author is different from the owner) gets 95 years frompublication (or 120 years from creation). The original duration was 14 years, renewable for another 14.
  • I write this module today, and I live to the year 2066 (hallelujah!). When can you make use of it?

    It's a trick question, this text is available under a license that allows you to use it now. Nonethless, the copyright on thistext will last until Jan 20. 2136. That's 132 years from now.

  • What's the test for copyrightability?
    • It must be original (a modicum of originality) and it must exist in a "tangible medium of expression."
  • What about registration and notice?
    • Works prior to 1989 needed to be marked with a little c in a circle or "Copyright1988". Works after this date do not need to be marked to be considered copyrighted. No registration is necessary, untilyou want to sue someone, then you need to deposit a copy somewhere (such as the Library of Congress) in order toformally assert your ownership.
  • Note that much of the law, as it has been extended incorporates the specifics of existing technologies-- rules about phonorecords, broadcasting, cable, and now digitaltransmission. Even Jukeboxes (17.1.116) have been covered at some point.

Other questions:

  • Copyright is a "strict liability" statute. What does this mean?
  • What constitutes infringement?
  • What constitutes damages?
  • What kinds of remedies can you pursue (injunction, impounding, damages, criminal penalities)?

The idea/expression dichotomy:
  • From 17.1 concerning the subject matter:
    tangible expression 102(b): In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to anyidea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form inwhich it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

Explicit exclusive rights: see section 106.

Fair Use and explicit limitations on rights: see section 107 on fair use (see also section 110, what kind of limitations doesthis create on the notion of creativity/originality in the classroom)?

Rights in intangible vs. tangible objects, implications of ownership.

  • 17.2 Ownership in copyright is not ownership in the object.

17.12. DMCA, Anti-circumvention, criminal penalties, extensive rules and exceptions.


Us federal patent law, points for discussion.

  • Patents vs trade secrets? What kind of justification? general availablity of patents.
  • What's patentable?
  • What duration?
  • 20 years + 5 years renewal for drugs, devices. 14 years on designs.
  • What are the standards for patentability?
  • What if a patent isn't original?
  • are plants are patentable? organisms and genes? What does this mean?


Trademark, points for discussion

  • What can be a trademark?
    • symbols, logos, sounds, designs, or even distinctive nonfunctionalproduct configurations.
  • Trademark's ostensible justification is not to reward inventors, but, believe it or not, to protect consumers from snake-oilsalesmen and other unscrupulous dealers.
  • The function of trademark is to: indicate the source of goodsavoiding confusion, encouraging competition.
  • Trademarks must be granted, and they do not expire, but they can become unprotectable (Xerox, kleenex, etc.)
  • Since 1996, trademarks have been susceptible to "dilution."

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, Text as property/property as text. OpenStax CNX. Feb 10, 2004 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10217/1.7
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