The History of Intellectual Property Law – Law – Intellectual Property


The use of a trademark is for the exclusive indentifying of a commercial source or origin for a product or service. These sources of information or badges as they have been come to be called have existed for a long time. Trademarks can be traced all the way back as far as the Roman Empire. Believed to be the first users of trademarks, this was how blacksmiths would keep track of one anothers work when designing armor and weapons most notably swords. There have been other well-known trademarks through the ancient years such as the lion mark used by Lwenbru and the Stella Artois which date back to 1366. By 1877, the United Kingdom used a Bass Red Triangle which became the first registered trademark under the Trade Mark Registration Act of 1875. 1884 saw Samson Rope use a picture of Samson wrestling a lion in the United States used as a trademark logo. Trademarks rise out of the need to maintain exclusive rights over a sign or relation to certain products or services so that these items can be burned into memories and used as a form of simple landmark association. Intellectual property is a bit different in this regard. Intellectual property refers to any number of distinct creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized. However these rights need to adhere to corresponding fields of law. Under these laws, owners and creators are granted rights to a series of intangible assets. These assets can be anything from musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types exist for these properties such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial rights and even including trade secrets. It wasnt until the 19th century that intellectual property was even an accepted form of copyrighted material. Originally used as far back as 1867 with the North German Confederation, their constitution granted legislative power over intellectual property. Eventually the use of intellectual property appeared in Paris in 1883 and other countries over time. It wasnt until the late 20th century that intellectual property law became common place in the United States. The whole of intellectual property can be traced back to the British Statue of Anne in 1710 and the Statute of Monopolies in 1623; these two statutes are seen as the origins of trademark and intellectual property laws. Today, these laws protect millions of people who have invented or written some extraordinary works of art and design.

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