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The Oxford Introductions to U.S. LawIntellectual Property$
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Daniel Hunter and Dennis Patterson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195340600.001.0001

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(p.1) One Introduction
The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law

Dan Hunter

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the meaning of intellectual property as legal rights to an intangible property of the mind. This definition covers trade secrets, rights of publicity, celebrity rights, and related rights. The different intellectual properties include copyright which protects works of authorship, for example, books, magazine articles, computer programs, drawings, and movies. Patent law is broader than copyright law and it protects ideas and inventions but only for twenty years. Trade secret laws protect commercially valuable ideas—such as the recipe for KFC or the Coca Cola formula. There are also celebrity rights or rights of publicity that protects the commercial persona of popular actors, singers, athletes. Trademarks protect brands and images. The essence of an intellectual property, being intangible, is therefore very different from the ways that regular property rights are administered.

Keywords:   trade secrets, rights of publicity, celebrity rights, related rights, intellectual property rights

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