Protecting Your Intellectual Property
It is crucial to the preservation and success of your business that you protect your intellectual property. Knowing exactly what your intellectual property is and how to protect it is vital. All and any items that you have created are considered unique and this will enable you to obtain an economic benefit from the intellectual property. These may include; designs, inventions, trade secrets and original works of authorship. The means of protection are dependent on the type of property you have.
Intellectual Property Patents
New inventions play a major role in the success of most businesses. You obtain a patent to protect the competitive advantage you have from the development of a new or better process or product that is useful, unique and non-obvious. Depending on the type of invention or product, the holder may be able to prevent third parties from either selling or using his invention for several years. Hiring an attorney who has a knowledge of patent law is advisable as obtaining a patent is sometimes complicated. A clear understanding of the ownership of a particular invention is vital if your business is using this creation on an ongoing basis. Depending on the type of working arrangements you have, the inventions may be considered the property of the employees who create them or belong to your business. It is essential that all employees sign an agreement stipulating that all inventions created at work are the property of the said business.
Intellectual Property Copyrights
Copyright is the means by which protection is provided for original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium. This includes music, literature, dramatic works, audio and visual recordings, photographs, software and any other type of intellectual works. As soon as the work is fixed in a tangible medium the copyright begins. Exercising control over the production, display, distribution and performance of the creation should be done immediately by the author via the use of a copyright symbol. Seeking court enforcement of a copyright is always simpler if you have filed for copyright protection. A intellectual property lawyer can best explain the advantages and disadvantages of filing a copyright.
Intellectual Property Trademarks
In order to protect your product name from being used to sell other products you need a trademark. By having an identifiable name that is unique is a real advantage for your business. Consumers are protected from confusion and misleading advertisement by trademarks that prevent other businesses from using the same or similar name for their own products. If your business sells a service, a service mark is used. Although filing is vitally important for enforcement purposes, using the name first is just as important in order to protect the continuing right of using that name. Before filing for trademark registration you must perform a trademark search. By doing this search you will avoid investing in the promotion of a product under a trademark that someone may already be using.
A Business Lawyer NYC will be able to help you with the process of a trademark search and application.