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Intellectual Property and Trademarks: A Moving Target

Intellectual Property and Trademarks: A Moving Target


Living in times of such utter dependence on technology has provided all sorts of potential opportunities as well as pitfalls. Information of all kinds of varieties are readily available for consumption, forcing upon us a new age of redefining our current definitions and boundaries of plagiarism.

One attempted remedy of this has been to create clear-cut standards of what really can be considered your own property when speaking of intangibles. This is termed "intellectual property" and generally refers to and includes any personal creations of the mind. Within this broader category can be narrowed down into items such as inventions, literature works, art, names, copyrights, trademarks, patents, pictures, and so on.

While the idea of intellectual property is far from a new one (dating as far back as 1867), there has been an obvious and intuitive increase in the severity of requiring these laws in place. The current area of assets that the average large corporation boasts is accounted for by two-thirds of their value in intangible assets.

Unfortunately there have been some criticisms regarding the subject of intellectual property as well. The most pungent of these criticisms generally respond to the concept that it essentially creates a monopoly for the holder of the property title. This presents many problems for various areas of growth. For starters, a monopoly will only benefit a single entity, thus eliminating the vast financial benefits and growth potential the patent or trademark could have offered.

Another more abstract negative view on the topic is that it hinders creative growth. Giving someone personal hold over an entire composition of "personal thought" leads to the obvious question of just how far that extends to. Recently there was a book published titled "60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye" that was written by the Swedish humorist Fredrik Colting. The book was released and promptly met with a lawsuit by the author of the 1951 classic "Catcher in the Rye", J.D. Salinger. Colting's novel is undoubtedly based on Salinger's classic story, but at what point is this truly plagiarism and not just literary creativity? For centuries authors have managed to endorse their works with injections of the plots or characters of Shakespeare just as the amount of musicians whose works can be traced back to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart grows by the day. At what point are we no longer protecting our intellectual investments but hindering our creative growth?

In the coming years we can surely expect for these lines to be thinned out as more and more cases arise offering debate to the argument. As for now, the idea of intellectual property is far from straight forward.
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Intellectual Property and Trademarks: A Moving Target Ashburn