copyright and patent power

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Copyright and patent powers refers to the federal government’s ability under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution to create and control a federal copyright and patent system. Under this clause, Congress may "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". 

While initially copyright and patent powers were shared by the federal government and the several states, the Copyright act of 1976 expressly reserved this power for the federal government. States are therefore preempted from passing their own copyright and patent legislation.  

Additionally, as per USC 28 §1338, no state has original jurisdiction over any claim arising under copyright or patent law. 

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]