Apollo 11: How First Lunar Landing Mission is protected by intellectual property

Copyrighted Dreams. Special: 50 years anniversary of lunar landing!

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Apollo 11: How First Lunar Landing Mission is protected by intellectual property

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

Fifty years ago today the man made the first step on the surface of the Moon. The first lunar expedition crew included Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

The lunar module delivered the first two astronauts to the surface of the Moon, while Michael Collins stayed in the spacecraft at the orbit.

This expedition photograph features Buzz Aldrin wearing a spacesuit; today his name and the image of him in the spacesuit holding an American banner are protected by a trademark owned by Buzz Aldrin Enterprises Inc.

Aldrin’s helmet also reflects the photographer, Neil Armstrong. The trademark in his name is reserved by Purdue Research Foundation of the Purdue University which the first lunar astronaut graduated.

The NASA logo on the sleeve of the spacesuit was registered as a separate trademark.

The lunar module (“Eagle has landed!”), the A7L spacesuits, as well as the method of the lunar module docking to the command module that carried the astronauts back from the Moon to Apollo-11 where they joined Michael Collins, were protected by patents.

Unlike trademarks, patents have a limited term of validity; the patents related to the mission expired about 30 years ago, which means that anyone can launch exactly the same lunar expedition without infringing the intellectual property rights!

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Author: Igor Nevzorov, Translation: Ekaterina Bereznikova

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Stories related both to intellectual property law and history of humankind from the places where important events occured.

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