Artists royalties locking patents?
Royalock Poetry: How This Might Work in Place of Royalock Art
For every item ever created and "breathed" into existence, there has been a drawing of said item. If it wasn't a physical item, but rather an idea or set of related ideas, it has been mapped out on paper prior to acquiring a patent. Even the first atomic bombs were designed and drawn out on paper before receiving a patent for production. However, most military patents receive a speedier pathway to production than items designed and invented by everyone else.
Similar to patents, written items receive a copyright. The copyright protects the written words of the author. In the modern age, the written word has frequently been transcribed into digital copy, which then requires an entirely different set of copyright laws to protect the authors' digital content of their original written creations. The laws on written content only vary slightly for song lyrics and poetry that could be turned into music
All in all, creators and inventors alike have a responsibility to their work to protect it, especially if they want to maintain some rights or control over what happens to it. While it isn't necessary to have a lawyer when applying for a patent or a copyright, it becomes necessary if there's a lawsuit or legal trouble of any kind. There has been a lot of speculation in recent decades as to whether or not the laws should prohibit the production of anything that could cause harm to others.
So, what does that look like? What laws currently prevent art from causing harm, or prevent patent drawings from causing harm? Is it possible for written words to prevent such harm in the future? Let's take a closer look at "art royalty locks patent" and speculate the answers to the previous questions.
Explaining "Art Royalty Locks Patent"
So, a physical object is invented. That physical object has to have a design drawing to present to a patent office, preferably before the item goes into production. However, there are many instances where an item might go into production with just "patent pending" connected to the advertising of the object. Producing the item while the patent is pending allows the patent applicant to market to consumers on a grand scale, thereby increasing profits before the patent has taken hold.
The "art" in question here is considered "art" because someone has to draw the invented object to the inventor's specifications. That isn't an easy task, unless the invented object itself is incredibly easy. The patent drawing is as protected as the invented object itself, once the patent has been approved.
Money made from the invented object or made from the art drawing rendered for the application of the patent, typically is paid out as royalties to the patent owner. In the case of an object that could cause potential harm to other human beings, the drawing may be used to secure a "lock" on the patent's royalties.
The "lock" then grants the public permission to access and use the patent's art and/or the royalties garnered from it. In the event that the object is deemed a danger to others, the lock also allows injured parties to claim part or all of the royalties held in perpetuity to pay for injuries as a result of the object represented. The lock also bans the patent holder from producing the item pictured because of the potential for great harm. The patent owner can be known for its creation, but cannot profit from it.
Another example of when a lock may be initiated is when there are enough lawsuits against a patented object that it is deemed unsafe. Despite the patent owner mass-producing the item and profiting from it, the object and its patent art are then locked by a court's ruling. Some or all of the profits held by the patent owner may have to go into a trust to pay the lawsuits brought against the patent owner. This is more common than a lock being placed on an invention/patent that has not yet gone into production.
The Supposition of Written Word to Lock a Patent
Many items, including intellectual property, have written copy accompanying the patent. When a patent lock is placed on a patented item, the written copy filed with the design art is part of that lock. At the present, filing just written copy that describes an object the inventor wants to make tends to slide under the radar of a patent lock.
That's not to say that a patent can't be achieved. It just says that there's a gray area between copyright and patent when an inventor attempts to secure a patent on written description of an object alone. It makes it more difficult to lock because written copy descriptions can be interpreted differently than a very detailed drawing.
Patent offices rarely accept applications for physical object inventions without a drawing. There's just too much legal trouble involved and/or too much potential for legal issues down the road. Even the crudest of drawings are more favorably accepted than no drawings at all. Unless the patent sought is for intellectual property (i.e., a patent on an intangible idea), a drawing is often required.
That clarified, the protected written copy accompanying the design art could technically be locked as a separate thing. Knowing that it isn't far-fetched, one could assume that poetry as a means of patent locking is a very real possibility. This concept crosses over the gray area between copyright and patent law, creating the means to lock patents of inventions with poetry or song lyrics rather than locking the patents with design art.
How Poetry or Song Lyrics Could Act as a "Royalock"
If you stop to think about this a second, artists royalties are paid to artists for the reproduction of their work. When an inventor goes to a designer or artist to ask for a rendering of the object the inventor has created, the artists or graphic designers often request that a portion of the royalties from the production and sales of the invention be made to them for doing the drawings. Their creative endeavors to provide for the inventors could result in years and years of royalty checks, and that's just smart.
Because their art via the form of patent drawings is then protected under the law, it opens the doorway for other creative materials to be or to act as protective measures. Not all creative materials are created with paintbrush and art media. Some are made with keystrokes and words. Ergo, the unprecedented use of poetry and song lyrics attached to a physical invention could ultimately be used to lock a harmful or potentially harmful patent.
Patentability of an invented object doesn't rely on the potential for harm. It is examined by a patent office for its functionality, usability, and comparable traits or features duplicated or taken from existing objects. There are many reasons an item may be refused a patent, but it is extremely rare to be refused a patent based solely on whether or not an object could ultimately be used for evil.
Once you understand that a patent is neither guaranteed nor negated based on what it can and/or what it is potentially capable of doing, you understand the need for Royalock. If poetry and lyrics could be used as the means to lock a patent, it can take patent law in an entirely new direction. It then allows for written words to halt production of a patented item and create the means to support those who have been harmed by the item in question via royalties garnered.
Does It Exist Now or Can It Be Done in the Future?
That is the question of the day, isn't it? There are many examples of authored words that have been used as "evidence" in court trials to prosecute a person charged with a horrible crime. Even TV shows have recreated some of these trials to reflect the issue of the written word being at the heart of a crime and the author being held responsible for the crimes just based on what the author wrote.
Technically, Royalock using poetry or song lyrics does not yet exist. It's an interesting concept when you take into account the aforementioned court trials involving author, creator, and musician "responsibility" to consumers as a whole. Gangsta rappers and metal band musicians have been accused of causing fans to murder people too but continue to receive royalties on their music long after cases have been won or lost.
Since there are already precedents for creative written material "causing" crimes, it's not a difficult thing to imagine how written material could be turned on its head to use for good. Using song lyrics and poetry with intent to lock patents and prevent harm is just an idea now, but it's a wild enough idea that it could one day take off.
Who Should Be Prepared for This Possibility?
Hashing out everything, there are three parties involved here that should be prepared for any future use of poetry and song lyrics to lock patents. One, the inventors really need to examine their inventions for potential harm to society before pursuing a patent. Two, poets and song writers should prepare for the likelihood that their individual talents could be tapped for this curious new legal procedure. Third and finally, patent and copyright lawyers should seriously consider where this could go and the ramifications it could have on their practices and their particular branches of the law. As a lawyer, it is certainly a hot topic of discussion to have with other patent and copyright lawyers. Since you already know your law inside and out, you know what could happen and what would be allowed under these laws. You also know that the law flexes its muscles when it encounters something extremely new and different. This is most obvious when you look at how all branches of law have had to change since personal computers became an actual reality in daily live
s. While you really can't prepare in advance for hypotheticals, it is something worth examining in your free time. Dealing with the unprecedented situation of locking a patent with song lyrics is something that could make or break you as a lawyer. You will have to decide how you intend to proceed in the event that this should ever become a reality. In the meantime, keep practising patent and copyright law as you have been all alon
Author TB - Nickname LoveGddess