It is not always that people invent valuable assets. A piece of invention, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and more are some valuable assets that are known as intellectual property. Once these kinds of intellectual assets are created it deserves to be protected. Here we would know how intellectual property rights can be protected.
As there are a fair number of competitions in the market and there is no dearth of intellectual minds who can create pathbreaking ideas, every business owner and entrepreneur should learn the basics of intellectual property law and how the rights of IP assets can be protected. Brands create ideas and assets that help them to secure an esteemed place in the competitions. To protect the rights of these assets under all circumstances becomes extremely important. But, why is it important to protect intellectual property rights?
- Being ahead of the competition with an invention of something new and different
- It can be a source of earning revenue if sold or licensed
- Makes you different from your competitors
- It can be used as security against the loan
- Helps in marketing and promoting your brand
To protect your intellectual property rights, you might need an experienced attorney. An expert attorney can help you to save your ideas, designs and other important assets. He can also help you to follow the right process of filing an IP application, which otherwise is a time-consuming and expensive process. He can guide you to understand which of your ideas comes under the protection of IP rights, file IP rights promptly to avoid losing out on protection and investigate briefly about the protection rights in different countries. Strategic planning and following the proper guidelines will help you stay ahead of your competition and invent your assets effortlessly.
The four main types of IP protection for your businesses are:
Patents – Patent property rights are given for a work of art or invention so that the inventions can be protected from buying, selling and using it for other purposes. A new idea or invention empowers a business in many ways; one of which being improving its process flow. If the patent rights for these ideas or inventions are protected, then the business will have a competitive edge in the market. Patent rights can be obtained by filing a patent application with the country in which you wish to hold your patent rights. Since there are no such worldwide or global patent rights, the inventor needs to file the patent application in their respective country. The patent application must be filed within 12 months of the invention. Failing to do so the opportunity would be gone forever.
The three types of the patent are:
- Utility – The patent covers process, machine, manufacturer articles, the composition of matter or any other new improvements. This patent lasts for 20 years.
- Design – The design patent covers new, original and unique ornamental designs of a manufacturer article. This patent lasts for 14 years.
- Plant – If any new variety of plants are produced asexually this can come under plant patent. This patent lasts for 20 years the same as a utility patent.
Trademark – Trademark is a kind of intellectual property rights that distinguishes each business and makes them stand out from the rest. A word, phrase, symbol or design is unique to any product or service. We identify a brand through their trademarks, hence, to protect the invention, trademark rights are provided. It certainly should be distinct to qualify for filing the application. How frequently one uses the trademark makes it familiar and popular among the masses, but it is always suggested to enforce the rights and protect them. The trademark that you choose for your brands should not just be unique and distinctive, it should give out a clear identification of your brands. The trademarks rights are valid up to 10 years, thereafter, it should be renewed for a decade more. To file the protection rights, you need to apply a “use” application after using the mark, and before using the mark you must file an “intent to use” application. Filing an application can be complex and time-consuming, hence it suggested that the applicant should hire an attorney, who is a specialist in trademarks.
Trade secrets – If you have sensitive business information like formula, process, device or more that must be kept confidential to help a business gain a competitive edge over others, these are known as trade secrets. There is no steadfast law of protecting these rights, hence, necessary steps should be taken to control the disclosure memorandum and use the information as quickly as possible. The business decision-makers who need to share the information with the people who would be implementing the ideas must sign the non-disclosure agreement to restrict access to sensitive information. Protecting the trade secrets of your companies are the most essential thing to make sure that all your works, ideas, and marks are held confidential until released in the market in the form of services or products. The example of trade secrets is:
- Soda formulas
- Information list of customers
- Results of surveys
- Computer algorithm
Copyrights – The artistic inventions such as literary works, music, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, sculptural, pictorial, and graphic works, sound recordings, artistic works, architectural works, and computer software come under copyrights protection. The artwork that can be expressed through tangible perceptible medium qualifies under copyrights’ law. Copyrights are enforced the moment the original work is created. Even if the artwork is registered it may face statutory damage. The artists then need to incur attorney fees in a copyright infringement suit to register the work through the country’s copyright office. The copyrights last for lifelong and an additional 70 years but are non-renewable.