Understanding Intellectual Property – The Basics

At Leaptee, we’re committed to being the best place to buy and sell custom products.

We’ve compiled this guide about intellectual property, and how it can impact the campaigns you create and share.

Using others’ intellectual property in your campaign’s design, title, URL, or description is considered infringement, which is against the law and Leaptee policies.

You can learn more about the copyright, trademarks, and other federal regulations on the U.S. Copyright Office website and the United States Patent and Trademark (USPTO) website. All Leaptee users must follow all applicable regulations.

While we can’t offer you legal advice, we ask that you read through the rules and guidelines below in their entirety, so your campaigns are legally compliant and ready for sales.

Copyright and Trademark

What makes something someone’s Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is the legal protection given to original works of authorship or design. For Leaptee, copyright and trademark law is most relevant.

  • 1. Copyright –Copyright rights protect works of “original authorship” – such as original and unique phrases or designs. Copyright is automatically granted upon the creation of something new and original.
    How Similar Must A Design Be To Violate Copyright?Copyright does not protect concepts or significant variations of an original work (the protected design or phrase), only exact replicas, or versions with changes that are de minimus (too trivial or minor to merit consideration). Find more copyright information and examples here. For official U.S. copyright laws, click here.

  • 2. Trademarks –Registered trademarks prohibit others from using distinctive phrases, symbols, and designs without a license, or permission from the owner. Trademark rights that arise from use in commerce can be registered or unregistered.
    Here are a few examples of products that feature trademarked material. Without a license or permission to use these marks, these campaigns would likely be flagged during our review process and suspended. Hover or tap on a design to learn why it is covered under trademark law
    How Similar Must A Design Be To Violate Trademark?Trademark protects a more significant amount of variation from an original work than a copyright does. It protects against exact copies, as well as “confusingly similar” designs.

    Find more trademark information and examples here. For official U.S. trademark laws, click here.
  • 3. Rights of Publicity –Individuals often don’t want their name, image, or likeness used without their permission. This may be because they’re not comfortable with the way they’re being portrayed, or that the use of their name or likeness implies a personal or commercial endorsement that does not exist.You can learn more about trademark and copyright using the following resources:
    • USPTO.gov – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site offers a FAQ section, and a search engine where you can check for registered marks.
    • Copyright.gov – The U.S. Copyright office offers a helpful FAQ.
    • Trademarkia.com – Trademarkia also provides an easy-to-understand FAQ section and search engine.
    • Licensing Pages – Many brands and organizations have pages (look for a “Terms” page) that outlines their owned copyrights and trademarks.
    • AVVOA website that allows users to ask for and receive free legal advice from reputable lawyers.