The term intellectual property refers to protection for creations and ideas of the mind. If you decide to protect your idea, work or invention, you will legally grant yourself exclusive rights to your creations. Intellectual property is roughly divided into two categories. The first category includes artistic, intellectual property and it’s protected by copyrights. Industrial intellectual property is protected by patent law. Besides your artistic and scientific works, your intellectual property also includes all information and products of your work. It also includes all the resorts you have used. That means, if you are a business owner and have a specific customer list, business process, trademark and so on, you have the right to protect it legally. Intellectual property lawyers, among other things, serve to protect company assets and prevent exploitation by others.
Business owners, as well as individuals, seek for ways to preserve and maximize the value of their ideas and inventions. So, if you are starting a small business or if you already have a successful company, consider protecting your intellectual property as a part of your initial business plan. Here are some ways you can protect your ideas on the market.
Defining Your Intellectual Property
The basic thing you should do is to make a decision to protect your company and its intellectual values. You should define the IP you seek to protect and conduct a proper protection strategy. In order to do this successfully, you will have to consult with a lawyer who has copyright laws at the tip of his fingertips. As a business owner, you should always evaluate whether any of your new ideas can be patented.
It is also important to choose a type of legal protection that suits best the nature of your business and your intellectual property. You can choose between copyright, patent and trademark protections. Copyright are usually used to protect written and unwritten works of authorship. They mostly include literature, music, and works of art. With copyrights, others are excluded from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing your invention or idea. When it comes to trademark protection, it includes protection a word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies your source of goods or brand from others. Unlike copyrights, trademark protection lasts indefinitely or as long as the owner continues to use his trademark.
Treat Employees and Consultants as Potential Inventors
It is very important how you treat your staff and consultants. You should always keep abreast of their creative input and provide a contract that guarantees all intellectual property they create while working for you, stays in the company. You mustn’t allow them to spread that idea outside of the firm, or if they leave the company. For the sake of the business, both the employer and the employees must understand the conditions under which they work and create in the company. As an entrepreneur, you don’t own the results of a contractor service upon payment of the agreed fee. So, if you seek to protect any kind of sensitive information, you should make a proper copyright contract to protect those works as yours. To learn more about protecting your intellectual property, please click here.