Intellectual property is a collective name for various legal protections for the “creations of the human mind”. The forms of intellectual property in which bdm advocaten offer assistance to its clients comprise:
- Copyright: Copyright protects the creator of works of “literature, science or art”. As soon as the creator of such works has made creative choices that characterise him or her as the creator, a claim may be made for copyright. Copyright exists by operation of the law: the creator does not need to set down or register his or her rights explicitly. Copyright is transferable.
- Personality rights: when the original creator of a work transfers copyright, her or she automatically retains the moral right to the work. The person who takes over the copyright may not claim to be or act is if he or she were the creator of the work: In doing so, her or she infringes the original creator’s personality rights. Nor may he or she mutilate the work in any way.
- Portrait rights: if there is copyright on a portrait (which means a recognisable human face) then the creator of the portrait holds the copyright. Portrait rights ensure that the person portrayed is not entirely without rights in relation to the copyright holder and other users of the portrait in question.
- Neighbouring rights: some copyright is amenable to the concept of the “execution thereof”, for example as in music or the theatre. The person or person performing such works add a dimension to the work in question, and this addition is protected as a “neighbouring right”, a right that resembles copyright itself in many respects.
- Database rights: Data, or information, does not have any legal protection as such, with a ‘nature of ownership’ as, for example, copyright does. However, if someone has put a lot of time and work into constructing a database, a collection of information, then another party may not run off with it. Database rights legally protect the investment made in gathering the information.
- Trading name law: The name under which a business trade enjoys legal protection. One business may not present itself as another. The minute the likelihood of confusion arises, the use of a trading name belonging to someone else is forbidden.
- Trademark rights: The right to a mark or brand comes from registering that trademark. A trademark can take various forms, ‘image’ and ‘word’ being the most common forms. Trademarks can be of high value, which means that the protection thereof is very important to many organisations.
- Domain name law: domain names always belong to a specific person, as that person has entered into an exclusive contract with the body that issued the domain name. However, it is illegal to retain a domain name if it infringes on a trading name, a person’s name or trademark rights that belong to someone else, or to have such a name held illegally for any other reason. The holder of the rights can demand the transfer of the domain name.