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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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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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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