Intellectual Property and the Public Domain
Earlier in the modern history of business, the most valuable assets that a company could have in its possession may have been financial resources on hand or a skilled workforce. Though there is no question that these are still important to the success of an enterprise, it is equally clear that sensitive information, original ideas, and unique business methods have overtaken them as the true treasures of trade. Laws have been enacted to protect intellectual property in recognition of this changing tide, and it is imperative that you understand the protections that you have.
Beyond securing your company’s own intellectual property, you must also ensure that your employees have a clear understanding of the intellectual property rights of others so that you do not become entangled in costly litigation. Knowing what falls under the public domain and using it appropriately can help you to avoid a host of headaches. Contact the Des Moines business lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (877) 327-2600 to speak with an experienced attorney about your intellectual property questions.
What is the Public Domain?
The concept of public domain seemingly stands at odds with other developments in intellectual property law as it exists for the sole purpose of clearly establishing a class of ideas and products to which the owners or originators do not hold legally exclusive rights. Important aspects of the public domain, including how some intellectual properties enter the public domain, include:
- Intellectual property in the public domain may be used freely by anyone, at any time, for any purpose
- Any works created by an individual directly employed by the United States government in the course of occupational duties are directly entered into the public domain
- Copyrighted written works created after January 1, 1978 are immediately protected until 75 years beyond the death of the last surviving author
- Virtually no copyrighted sound recordings are in the public domain
To learn more about public domain and other important intellectual property concepts, contact the Des Moines business lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at (877) 327-2600.