Our society lives in an era of information. The information we may come across can be very valuable or completely worthless. Because of this, the ability to protect and profit from original intellectual property has become very important to various involved professionals, starting from writers and photographers to software developers and inventors. If you have an intellectual property you want to protect, you may be wondering how to do it. The answer is simple – you need qualified intellectual property attorneys by your side to assist you. Protecting your idea or invention is significantly important on the long run. No matter what kind of intellectual property you have, if you don’t protect it, someone may steal it and profit from it. Trademark laws can be very complicated to understand and deal with, but if you have a quality IP lawyer by your side, you won’t have to worry about anyone infringing your right or profiting from your idea without your consent. Only a specialized attorney can help you best protect your intellectual property in the long run.
There are four main ways to protect intellectual property and they involve trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Read on to learn which way would work best for you and master the art of IP protection.
Trademarks and Patents
A trademark is a mark that distinguishes one business from another. A trademark is someone’s brand, and it can consist of a name, phrase, logo, symbol or an image. It can also include a combination of any of these elements. A trademark can also comprise a sound or a jingle, and nowadays it can also include a variety of digital and electronic images.
When it comes to patents, those intellectual property rights protect an invention. The invention doesn’t have to be obvious in order to get protected; they can be novel or non-obvious. Unlike trademarks, a patent has a limited lifespan. Except patenting a device, you can also patent a scientific discovery. The Supreme Court has recently that you can patent genetically modified seeds and organisms or even synthetically created DNA. However, you cannot patent naturally occurring human genes or DNA.
Copyrights and Trade Secrets
Copyrights protect any information or ideas that are discrete and substantive, usually literature, music and other creative works. A copyright gives the holder the privilege of being credited for the work, therefore it gives him the right to determine who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from the work and if the work can be adapted to other forms. If it can, the holder decides by to whom it may be adjusted. Copyright cases and issues are handled by copyright lawyers. Copyrights last for a limited amount of time, depending on the information or idea that is being protected.
Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property protection that can cover certain formulas, designs or even a process or practice. A trade secret is protected through employees’ confidentiality, and it requires signing a non-disclosure clause and a non-compete clause. The first prevents them from disclosing secrets of the business to others and the second one prevents them from working with competitors in the future. This form of IP protection doesn’t have a limited time span.
As we mentioned in the beginning, if you are seeking a trademark, trade secret, patent or copyright, you should consult with an IP lawyer who can ensure you get the right type of protection for your idea, invention or creative work. Please visit our website for more information on IP protection.