Protecting Intellectual Property

BusinessLegal

  • Author Darren Agaton
  • Published January 26, 2009
  • Word count 561

Intellectual property (IP) is any artistic works, innovation, name sign, symbol, design or logo that is used commercially. These are protected by trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets.

Such protections are vital in the area of business because it would give owners as well as the business itself, the exclusive rights to use it and avoid other companies from unauthorized uses.

Intellectual property laws allow business owners and investors to do so. However, associated rights enable IP to be treated as an asset that can be sold, bought, or given away without charge.

Trademark

Trademarks, represented by the symbol "™" are commercial source indicators, signs, pictures or symbols used by a business enterprise or an individual to identify the source of their products and to determine it exclusively from others.

Trademarks’ primary purpose is to avoid uncertainties and confusions among consumers regarding the products’ source. Thus, it is imperative that it must be registered and renewed when it expired.

Patents

Patents are property right granted to an inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This gives exclusive rights to the inventor, to exclude other people from using, making or selling his invention for a limited time.

Copyright

Copyright gives the creator of an original work the exclusive rights to reproduce the work, distribute and present a work publicly for a limited time. Its protection covers published and unpublished artistic or literary works that are fixed in a material form. Additionally, it also covers films, music and other cultural works.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are any information or documents that are considered precious and valuable. Most business owners prohibit access to trade secrets or its usage because it brings many advantages to their business or company. However, trade secrets, unlike patents, are protected for only a limited time.

Protecting Your Business from Intellectual Property Theft

• The first step to protect your business from IP theft is to apply it for protection

• Have an inventory of your intellectual property. Scrutinize and inspect your business to see what needs trademark, patent, copyright or trade secret status.

• If you already know what intellectual property your company or your business has, you should decide and review properly what you will do to protect that property.

• Search out for other companies or businesses, the same as yours, who encountered IP problems so you may avoid what they have experienced.

• Know your business partners. Be sure that your contracts with them and to other suppliers also have intellectual property protection.

• Make a benefit or cost analysis to know which IP measures are suitable to your business.

Defending Rights against IP Violation

Any business establishment or owner of a property or work has the right to file a claim or lawsuit against intellectual property violations and infringements. Hence, it is very important that you are registered under the law.

Intellectual property stealing may affect the business and even you, as the owner of the work. When your exclusive rights are violated, you must consult proficient and expert lawyers who have years of experience in handling cases of infringements and intellectual property violation.

Also, a lawyer you should consider must help you to better understand your intellectual property rights. He must also be a dedicated defender and will give his full effort to assist you regarding the planning, litigation and settlement brought by the unfair competition practices.

To help you deal with business and corporate issues regarding intellectual property, consult with our expert Los Angeles corporate business attorneys. Visit our website and avail of our free case analysis.

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