When businesses take the time, energy and risk of developing a new medical device, medication or other technology, the government rewards them. These rewards come in the form of intellectual property rights. Patents, in particular, give their owners the exclusive right to profit from any invention that is protected by a patent. However, New Jersey businesses should understand that patents can be difficult to maintain and may require vigorous protection from competitors.
In the age of the internet, many people in New Jersey may not see anything wrong with downloading a song online and listening to it. What these people may not understand is that the artist has intellectual property rights in that song. Under United States laws, original works are protected by copyrights. These copyrights give the owner of these works the exclusive right to distribute, reproduce, prepare or display the copyrighted material.
In both the federal and state court systems there are multiple courts that could hear a case before a final resolution is given. In the federal court system, there is the district court, then the appeals courts and finally the Supreme Court. The appeals courts hear a variety of cases including intellectual property disputes.
Many New Jersey business owners understand the value and importance of their intellectual property. Protecting business concepts, ideas and products is often key to the success of a business in today's aggressive marketplace. As this blog has highlighted many times in the past, businesses are often forced to litigate issues surrounding intellectual property rights in order to fully protect these rights.
When a company makes or invents a new product, they typically do so to make money from the invention. In order to keep others from profiting from their hard work, companies can apply for patents. A patent will prevent another person or company from making, selling or copying the product for a limited amount of time without permission of the patent holder. This way, the New Jersey business has exclusive rights to all profits from the product. Therefore, patents can be very valuable for a business for the time it is covered.
As many New Jersey business owners understand, there are many different types of property. Each type of property has the potential to be very profitable for businesses. Intellectual property rights protect business concepts, products and ideas and it can be as valuable as any other type of property.
Like physical property, intellectual property must be protected. In order to protect intellectual property, laws have been enacted that give business owners the exclusive right to use the intellectual property they own. While these laws must be tough enough to protect business concepts, they cannot be so restrictive to quash the formation of new intellectual property or new ideas, products and services.
Two gin companies -- Greenhook Ginsmiths and New Columbia Distillers' Green Hat Gin -- have pursued litigation in New Jersey for trademark rights to the phrase "Green Hat." Both companies claim to have superior rights to the trademark. Greenhook claims that it has used the Green Hat trademark in commerce since August 2011. On the other hand, New Columbia Distillers says it filed an application for a trademark on April 22, 2011 whereas Greenhook did not file until Sept. 28, 2011.
In order to stay profitable, New Jersey businesses must produce a good or a service that consumers want to purchase. Without having money coming in, a business cannot stay profitable for long. Sometimes, a business can earn money from less traditional sources, like its intellectual property. In many cases intellectual property rights can be highly desirable to other companies in the same or similar fields. These rights may contain products or processes that other companies need to survive. Take for example the recent sale of patents by Eastman Kodak Co.
Oftentimes businesses do not just own goods and property, but they also own intellectual property. Intellectual property rights allow businesses to protect their concepts from other people who are looking to profit from them. Patents, in particular, protect novel concepts, products and processes. If a patent is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a person or business is forbidden to use or profit from another's patent without the owner's consent.