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Websites and Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

To clear up confusion as to how to protect the Intellectual Property of websites, this article will give a brief explanation on how websites might be protected under Patent Law, Trademark Law, and Copyright Law.

The first concept to understand regarding Intellectual Property is the fact that patent law, trademark law, and copyright law overlap. It is possible to get a patent, a trademark, and a copyright on a bicycle. A patent can be applied for a unique braking system on the bike. A trademark can be created for a unique and non-functional look of the bike (and word marks). And a copyright can be extended to various graphics on the bicycle as well. The three pillars of intellectual property: patents, copyrights, and trademarks are no mutually exclusive.

As such, a website which incorporates a novel and non-obvious method or process can be afforded patent protection. One bad example is the Amazon 1-click patent. This is a bad example in the sense that the patent was probably improperly issued due to serious questions related to USC 103 which requires non-obvioiusness.

A website may also be able to qualify for trademark protection through various logos, words, colors, sounds, or other source identifiers which are placed throughout the website. A consistent look throughout the website pages can be given trademark rights. A closely related issue may be cyber-squatting which is actually covered under another narrow law.

And a website may also have copyright rights as well. Most websites have an assortment of images, articles, artwork, and other text which certainly comes under copyright law. Moreover, any software running on those websites may also qualify for copyright law through their source code and object code which may be registered with the Library of Congress.

Los Angeles Patent Attorney los angeles patent trademark attorney

Los Angeles Patent Attorney

los angeles patent trademark attorney

Andrew Schroeder is a Los Angeles based Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the USPTO.

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