Risk Control – Assignment #2 – Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property (IP) is the product of human intelligence that has economic value. The economic value is derived from the owner’s right to control the use of the intellectual property. No control = limited value.
Please identify the 4 common types of Intellectual Property Protection and provide an example from B&G for each type.
The four common types of intellectual property protection are copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets. Copyrights are exclusive rights to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute what B&G has created thus far. In fact, it should be noted that Unilever has rights concerning their texts and images, for example, used in their website for promotion of their product. The second type includes trademarks. A trademark is a sign or a design, in the case of B&G, related to their product recognized by the public. As a matter of fact, B&G has a logo that's recognized internationally and that's primarily their trademark. Furthermore, the cow (which can be associated as, in a way, their mascot) that seems to be present with the logo of their products is also a trademark, as the public seems to relate this image with their products. Also, we have patents. These are also exclusive rights that are legally granted by the government to B&G in order for them to make, use and sell their products for a limited period of time. Finally, we have trade secrets. Trade secrets, in B&G's case, are all the recipes of their products (ice cream, drinks, etc. ).
Please define, compare & contrast, the ownership, creation and duration for each you identify above.
Copyrights are "the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something"3. Also, according to our textbook, it’s “The legal right granted by the U.S. government to a person or organization for a period of years to exclusively own and control an original written document, piece of music, software, or other form of expression.” According to the example provided above, Unilever has copyrights concerning B&G's texts and images. The ownership belongs to Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer company, since B&G is actually a division of Unilever. Ownership is important to determine since this establishes the values that could be exposed to loss, and “to ensure the organization owns what it believes it owns”. The creation consists of 3 criteria, which are to be original, to be fixed in a tangible medium of expression that is permanently recorded, and to have some degree of creativity4. Concerning these criteria, this consists of their texts and imaging tools to advertise their products to the public. In fact, their originality cannot be copied from another source. Secondly, the 2nd criteria mean that their work could bee in a form of paper, or digital media. Thus, once these 3 criterias have been properly identified, the work obtains basic copyright protection. Finally, the duration of the copyright, (considering that the company has been founded in the year of 1978), the Copyright Act considers B&G under “Works originally created on or after January 1, 1978”. This means that they’re automatically protected from the moment of its creation and “is ordinarily given a term that lasts for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death.”4 Also, for works for hire, the duration will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation.
Trademarks are "a distinguishing characteristic or feature firmly associated with a person or thing"3 which would the sign and design of B&G. Basically, the creation of their trademark is done when it’s used on their product or when they use it for marketing purposes. The two requirements for the creation of their trademark is to be distinctive and that the trademark’s owner must be the first to use the trademark, which B&G obviously fulfill. As for the duration…