Intellectual Property Definitions
Glossary of terms including intellectual property definition, law and legal issues surrounding the protection of business information and trademarks.
Intellectual Property or IP – property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks. It has to have commercial value, including copyrighted property such as literary or artistic works.
Brand Owner – The owner of the trademark.
Trademark – A device (as a word) pointing distinctly to the origin or ownership of merchandise to which it is applied and legally reserved to the exclusive use of the owner. To enforce a trademark, the trademark must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the California Secretary of State’s Office.
Victim – A brand owner who has experienced theft of their trademark or copyright.
Copyright – Exclusive rights over a book or song. The owner dictates how the product gets duplicated and distributed.
Counterfeit – Made in imitation with the intent to defraud.
Knock Off – Another word for Counterfeit. This term is used interchangeably.
Brand Protection – Protecting the trademark owner’s brand.
Gray Market – The flow of new goods through distribution channels other than those authorized or intended by the manufacturer.
Parallel Import – Is a non-counterfeit product imported from another country without the authorization of the brand owner. This is also another word for gray market.
Distribution Channels – The passing of products down the chain to the next organization, before it finally reaches the consumer. This could be selling direct, mail order, Internet or telephone sales. Manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer, consumer.
Consumer – A buyer of goods.
Manufacturer – A maker of goods.
Distributor – A person who deals goods.
Wholesaler – A person who sells goods in large amounts.
Retailer – A seller of goods in small amounts to consumers.
Street Vendor – A seller of goods in small amounts to consumers without having a fixed retail location (storefront).
Import – Bringing goods into a country from another country.
Illegal Import – Bringing goods into a country from another country that is prohibited by law.
Pirate – One who uses a copyrighted or patented work without authorization.
Piracy – A term that is used to refer to Pirate, Counterfeit, and Bootleg inclusively. Piracy generally refers to the illegal duplication and distribution of audio or visual recordings. There are four specific categories of Piracy:
Bootleg Recordings – An unauthorized recording of a live performance either audio or visual. These are sometimes referred to as imports.
Online Piracy – The unauthorized reproduction, distribution, and/or performance of copyrighted sound recording in a network environment.
Counterfeit Recordings – The unauthorized recording of a prerecorded sound as well as the unauthorized duplication of original artwork, label trademark and packaging.
Pirate Recordings – The unauthorized duplication of only the sound of a legitimate recording, as opposed to all the packaging. This includes compilation CDs.
Optical Discs – CDs and DVDs this includes CD-Rs and DVD-Rs.
Commerce – Trade on a large scale.
Smuggling – Bring in or take out of this country illegally.
Service Mark – A trademark used in commerce that identifies a service rather than a product. Must be registered with the UPSTO or California Secretary of State’s Office.
Fakes – Another term used for counterfeit.
Fraud – Dishonesty, a deception made for personal gain.
Exclusive Rights – The action of permitting or denying others the right to use a trademark or copyright.
Trade Secret – A formula, practice, process, or compilation of information used by a business to obtain an advantage over competitors or customers. This is usually highly confidential.
Infringement – refers to the violation of a law or right which includes copyrights, patents and trademarks.
Penal Code 653w – Failure to disclose origin of a recording or audiovisual work.
Penal Code 653z – Operating a recording device in a motion pictures theater.
Penal Code 350a – Counterfeit of a registered mark. Must prove that the violator knowingly, willfully, and intentionally sold counterfeit merchandise.
USPTO – The United States Patent and Trademark Office. www.uspto.gov