How Do Different Forms Of Intellectual Property Intersect On The Internet?
Intellectual property (copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret law) intersect on the internet in interesting ways. For example, a trademark may be a domain name but not all domain names are trademarks. See the discussion of domain names in this website. A patent may be available for computer software and even "Business Method Patents". See the discussion in the patent section of this website. And copyright rules apply to the ownership of web pages as well as computer software.
Some of the rules that existed before the internet came along seem to work well in this new area. Copyright law and the ownership of web pages is one example. Other rules, however, such as patent law, may be a square block in a round hole, or force results that were not expected.
The new statutes and case law being generated as a result of the internet are only exceeded by the number of websites proliferating on the web. Computers may be able to store all this new data, and even analyze it, but the human mind is still needed to figure out where these new rules intersect and what needs to be done to protect yourself and avoid legal mistakes.
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