Friday, December 23, 2011

Intellectual property: to better understand the judicial review of Apple - I

Motorola v Apple, Samsung v Apple v Apple HTC, Apple and others v: the small world of mobile computing uses the courts as others used the playground, is castagna to outdo, until sometimes to forget the reason for the dispute. Patents, registered designs, injunctions, appeals, motions, etc.. : Jargon sometimes prevents a clear understanding of these cases. We offer a development summary.


Intellectual Property

The need to protect inventions, works and brands is as old as capitalism, which is nourished and maintained: the first patents appear in the cradle of this economic system, the fifteenth-century Italy. In 1421, the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who has developed winches and cranes screw, pulleys and gears to facilitate the construction of the Duomo of Florence, received a patent on a similar mechanism for the handling of cargo vessels. It is considered the patent's industrial history.

The letters patent of the ancient regime France are distant relatives of our Code of intellectual property: if they are far from what we now call copyright and patent, on the one hand they establish a monopoly of publishing works (arts) and the other a monopoly to operate an industrial process (Industrial). In a society of orders and corporations, the arms, punches, and other trademarks are registered: forgery and counterfeiting are crimes. Other time, another place, another system, but the same concern: the question of the protection of original human is crucial to the founding fathers, both men of the Enlightenment and businessmen. 

The first patent granted in the United States is under the Patent Act of 1790: July 31 of that year, George Washington granted to Samuel Hopkins for a patent on technology for the production of potash, and therefore exclusive on this production. The USPTO, the U.S. service in charge of the study and the registration of patents, models and brands, was founded in 1802 under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, with a clear mandate: only the methods and mechanisms can be filed, not ideas. The Copyright Act, also established in 1790, for its part is dedicated to the protection of literary productions: the exclusivity of the publication and sale of maps, illustrations and books can be protected for 14 years (renewable once if the author is still alive).

Each of these systems, we can see, clearly distinguishes between two main types of intellectual property, defined as a set of rights ensuring the exclusivity of intellectual creations, the author of a work of the mind: the property literary and artistic one hand and other industrial property (patent, model and brand). The goal will be understood, is to allow the existence of intellectual works as property of economic value, and regulate their use as such. Each of these systems, however, changed depending on its context and the specific history of the countries involved: intellectual property in France is significantly different from the American Intellectual Property.

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