Intellectual Property

General information

Issues to consider, tips and guidance for developing media materials or re-licensing materials from other campaigns.

If you are getting ready to embark on a campaign, particularly if you are developing or re-licensing creative materials and media items, there are many legal issues to consider.

Getting Started

  • Introduction to Basic Copyright Principles–What does copyright protect, and what is copyright infringement?
  • Introduction to Basic Trademark Principles–What does a trademark protect, when should you register campaign materials, and when do common law rights apply?
  • Rights of Publicity/Rights of Privacy–If a campaign will use pictures of individuals and names and/or likenesses of famous individuals, publicity and privacy rights must be considered.

Downloadable Guides

Download and print our Intellectual Property Guides.

  • Developing Original Campaign Materials
    • This download features information on rights management, using pictures or videos of people, the right of other organizations to use your materials, joint ownership, blogging and social networking sites.
  • Using Materials from Other Organizations
    • This download provides information for purchasing a license to use materials that were previously created for a separate organization’s campaign.

Useful Web sites

While the information contained in this section is intended to be a general description of important legal issues that will impact any marketing campaign, it is not intended to be all-inclusive nor a substitute for legal advice in specific situations. In designing and implementing any specific marketing campaign, you should involve your attorney at the earliest stages, since the legal principles applicable to such campaigns may be applied very differently from one situation to the next depending on the exact facts of each individual situation. By describing your planned campaign in as much detail as possible, your attorney will be able to help you identify potential problem areas and craft appropriate agreements and responses to allow you to avoid problems later in the campaign process.