If you were to buy an expensive house or car then you would immediately start looking for ways to protect it. A novel or patent may not seem as concrete or substantial as a car but they need just as much protection. The best way to secure your original work is by working with an attorney that has experience filing for copyrights, patents and trademarks.
What is “intellectual property”?
When you create an original work like a play, novel, invention, song or a multitude of other items then you have created intellectual property. You have the rights to it and no one but you will be entitled to benefit from its creation unless you give them the right. Intellectual property law is what makes the entertainment industry possible because it protects artists and lets them make money from their creations.
What do I need to do to protect my Intellectual Property?
There are three main mechanisms for protecting your intellectual property:
- Trademarks – Companies and products are usually associated with identifying marks or unique names. It helps consumers to tell various companies apart in an easily identifiable way. To stop other companies from using your mark without your permission, you will need to hire an intellectual property lawyer. Your lawyer can then sue the company for lost royalties and damages.
- Patents – Patents protect inventors from having their inventions used, sold or made by anyone else for a specific length of time. In the United States you can apply for a Utility Patent, a Design Patent or a Plant Patent.
- Copyrights – These only cover the expressive arts like singers and writers. Copyrights can’t protect an idea but they can protect how the idea is expressed. It stops other people from using your work to make money because it gives you the express right to perform, reproduce or publicly display your work.
Companies whose work or products are protected often need guidance to ensure their agreements and policies and procedures are designed to help protect trade secrets and rights.