Intellectual Property Newsletters

Copyright Law

The Copyright Act defines a "collective work" as an assemblage into a collective whole of a number of individual contributions, each of which constitutes a separate and independent work, and gives as examples periodicals, anthologies, and encyclopedias. A collective work is also referred to as a "compilation."

Patent Law

A patent is a property right that the federal government gives to an inventor with respect to an invention. That property right is the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention without the inventor's permission for the limited period specified by the patent statute. A person or other entity that makes, uses, sells, offers for sale, or imports the invention covered by the patent is said to liable for direct infringement of the patent. Patent infringement is classified by the law as a "tort," which is a wrong--other than a breach of contract--for which the law provides a remedy. Therefore, the rules of tort law will govern how a lawsuit alleging patent infringement is to be commenced and prosecuted.


A patent is a right granted by the federal government to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the subject of the patent for a limited period of time, whether it be an invention, process, composition of material, or other patentable article, without the permission of the patent owner. Conduct that interferes with the right of exclusion is called infringement.

Trademark Priority

In the United States, subject to one exception, trademark rights arise from use in commerce, regardless of whether or not the mark is registered. The first user of a mark generally takes priority over all subsequent users with respect to use of the mark in that market.

Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990

The moral rights of authors that are recognized in the Berne Convention are: (1) the right of attribution, which is the right to be identified as the author of a work or to be disassociated from a work such as by publishing a work anonymously or under a pseudonym; and (2) the right of integrity, which allows an author to prevent distortion or mutilation of the work. Additional moral rights granted by French law include the right to decide whether the work may be disclosed to the public, the right to withdraw a disclosed work from the public, and the right to reply to criticism of the work in the same medium in which the criticism was presented. Moral rights exist independently of any property rights in the copyrighted work and are kept by the author even if the copyrighted work is sold or transferred. Outside the United States, if another person owns the property right to a copyrighted work, the exercise of moral rights--such as ordering the publishing of a book to cease--may require the author to compensate the owner of the property right for any economic loss that results. In many jurisdictions, moral rights may be waived.