Federal and state law recognizes multiple forms of intellectual property, including patents,1 copyrights,2 trademarks,3 and trade secrets.4 Alleged violations of patents and copyrights are required by statute to be litigated in the federal courts.5 Trademark rights can arise under the Federal Lanham Act6 or state law.7 Trademark infringement can be litigated in state or federal courts.8 Trade secrets arising under state statutes are litigated in state courts unless diversity jurisdiction exists and is pled.9
Infringement of intellectual property in the case of patents arises when a patented invention is used, manufactured or imported into the United States without authority of the patentee.10 Copyright infringement results when any of the exclusive rights granted to a copyright owner under 17 U.S.C. §106 are violated.11 Trademark infringement results when a mark is used by a junior user in a manner that causes a likelihood of confusion in the minds of consumers, and potential consumers, with the senior user’s mark as to source, connection, sponsorship, approval or affiliation.12
"Who Will Protect the Consumers of Trademarked Goods?,"
University of Baltimore Law Review: Vol. 46
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/ublr/vol46/iss3/2