In Suffolk Law’s Intellectual Property concentration, you get hands-on, skill-focused learning that combines innovative practical clinics with traditional classroom lessons. Our concentration is one of the largest and most developed of its kind in the country with a wealth of courses to address the richness of this diverse field of practice.
IP law includes patent, copyright, trademarks, trade secrets, and right of publicity. All of these areas are related in that they deal with protecting products of the mind but in other ways they are very different.
Intellectual Property is available as a Concentration or Area of Focus.
Other Aspects of IP Law
Patents grant inventors the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, importing, or selling the invention in the United States. There are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Patents have been used to protect a wide variety of famous inventions such as the light bulb, the internal combustible engine, Barbie, the Google search engine, as well as the ornamental appearance of products such as sneakers, jewelry, sunglasses, and even the shape of cars.
Copyrights cover original works fixed in any tangible medium of expression, such as literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, and other intellectual works. Copyrights are granted to authors, whether the original works are published or unpublished. Copyrights protect the books you read, the movies you see, the music you listen to, the software that runs on your computers and smartphones, and even the blueprints for your home. Today, a lot of work in the copyright area involves applying this body of law to electronic and digital media to control its duplication and distribution.
Trademarks include any word, name, symbol, or device (combination thereof) used to identify and distinguish goods or services and to indicate the source of those goods or services. Trademarks can consist of words, images, colors, sounds, distinctive packaging, and even smells like the distinctive aroma of Play-Doh! Owners of strong trademarks must be vigilant about protecting their trademarks to avoid losing them if they become generic words such as aspirin, thermos, and escalator.
Trade secret law provides protection for proprietary information used by a business enterprise. This can include protection for technological and business know-how that is maintained in secret. One of the most famous examples of a trade secret is the exact recipe for Coca-Cola.