Level of protection
This page explains the level of protection of Information Mapping®.
Copyright protection of methods and their expressions
In copyright, "ideas" and "methods" are not protected. Expressions of ideas and methods are.
The general and rough idea that well-structured texts are easier to read and that using the same system of organizing texts in an organization (company, administration) is extremely useful and is not copyright protected.
However, the Information Mapping® method is not a "mere method", but a specific format and expression of the above-mentioned idea. The elaboration of an idea is copyright protected. The Information Mapping® method, which is copyright protected, is hereafter referred to as "Information Mapping® Format".
Anyone can make a television program based upon a competition leading to a winner. However, creating a television format describing in detail how a group of people is quarantined in a house, what kind of tests they undergo, how they are interrogated in a small room by a mysterious voice, how each week the public picks a person that has to leave the house and all the other aspects that should be used to make a successful edition of the Big Brother program obviously is copyright protected. Making a series of Big Brother (i.e., using the elaborated and described method) without permission is clearly an infringement upon the copyright protected format.
Protection of the Information Mapping® Format
Similar to the example above copyright protection evidently also applies to the elaborated Information Mapping® Format. The Information Mapping® Format is not a rough idea or a rough method, it is a specific and unique format that did not exist before. Significant intellectual effort was involved in creating the specific form given to the general idea “you should structure your writings.”
Anyone can subdivide his texts in chapters and paragraphs, underline certain parts, etc. However, works created in accordance with the elaborated specific expression and form of the Information Mapping® Format will have absorbed and therefore show the specific expression, structure and sequence of the Information Mapping® Format.
What can you (not) do?
Obviously the copyright on the Information Mapping® Format does not prevent people from using paragraphs or chapters in their texts. That is simply an application of the general idea or method to subdivide texts. The copyright even does not prevent someone to create another form of organizing text, as long as the similarity with the Information Mapping® Format is not there.
Copyright simply prevents people from copying the Information Mapping® Format (or part thereof) in their writings. The way of presenting information via the Information Mapping® Format is unique and original. Therefore it cannot be copied.
Note about copyright laws
It should be noted that copyright law may vary from country to country. Even if the examples given would not be protected in a specific jurisdiction, it is recognized in international treaties that the essence of copyright is to protect any created form that is given to a specific idea. Therefore, it is our belief that in any jurisdiction all or at least very important parts and choices made by the creator
of the Information Mapping® Format will be protected under copyright law. Besides, in most countries additional protection will exist under contract law, trademark law and unfair trade practices laws. Information Mapping International nv (IMI) has over 20 years experience in protecting and enforcing its intellectual property worldwide.
The trademarks of Information Mapping® International are registered and thus protect its names. Any use of these trademarks is with express written permission of Information Mapping® International.