Let us understand what is intellectual property?
Any creation of the mind such as Names, domain names, inventions, symbols, designs, artistic works that are used in commerce, which has commercial worth needs to be safeguarded from unscrupulous persons who might want to exploit it for their own profit.
Intellectual property rights provide legal recognition to your creation or idea and prevent others from using it without permission.
Here are some practical alternatives available to you to for intellectual property protection.
Firstly, you should keep the critical information confined to yourself and not share it with other people.
You must exercise a lot of caution while sharing information on public forums, especially on the internet.
If you need to communicate your idea to associates via email, you must ensure the security of your account with a strong password.
It also helps to have a basic idea of the intellectual property related laws. This would not only aid you in prosecuting infringers of your rights but also help you formulate policies that safeguard your intellectual property.
For instance, when you engage a team of specialists to work upon the idea, you can convey to them that the provided information is confidential.
One way of ensuring confidentiality is by asking all the associated persons to sign non-disclosure agreement, so that you can turn to legal measures if needed.
However, For Intellectual property protection, it is also important to call in a law veteran to find out the detailed provisions available to you to protect your idea.
More often than not, these laws involve complexities that have to be figured out by a specialist on intellectual property matters.
The professional are going to be ready to tell you the way to patent or copyright your creation in order that no infringement takes place.
You should also remember that the most appropriate time to approach an IP lawyer and apply for IP protection is when your idea is in the initial stages.
An early application for patent or copyright, trademark can save you a huge amount of time and effort in subsequent stages.
When a company strategically identifies, maintains and secures its intellectual property (IP) rights then this can obviously have a huge impact on the business in terms of its overall operation, including its ability to attract investors, enter into specific business partnership, and in the end increase its value when it comes to sale or business merger.
Large companies who have mega-brands like Google and Pepsi are often quoted when it comes to their brand value as out-valuing their fixed assets hundreds of times, yet it is easy to forget how these businesses also became so big.
We live in an information world now. Information companies like Google can be worth a few billion dollars a few years after creation only because information is now so valuable.
Information is a tradable asset only when it is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws and other laws. Every company, big or small should consider IP seriously. It is one of the best investments literally you can make with a company if the intellectual property (IP) value is capitalized within the company and added to the balance sheet.
It is highly recommended for businesses of all sizes to be aware of intellectual property (IP) topics and create direct strategies that will proactively ensure that their intellectual property (IP) will at all times be properly legally protected.
Here are a few areas to help you start focusing on by first identifying the areas that you are creating intellectual property in:
Trademarks – these protect parts of your general brand such as slogans, pictures, names.
Copyrights – these cover the protection of expressive items such as documents, books, images, videos, audio recordings etc.
Trade secrets – these protect proprietary information, internal know-how, systems and procedures that are deemed to give you a business competitive edgePatents and industrial designs which protect specific types of ideas and inventions and processes.
Considering the above items the first step that you need to do is identifying current intellectual property (IP) within your company.
You may be amazed by how much you may have. Once all sources of a company’s IP have been identified, processes should be put in place that enable the company to easily keep track of all existing intellectual property and all new intellectual property (IP) . Then someone needs to be given the responsibility to manage the intellectual property (IP).
Once the key IP has been identified then the next step is to look at what should be registered to protect it legally. This is where a great patent lawyer comes in to play. Good IP lawyers don’t come cheap but considering the value that is created then it pays off to invest for all your major IP.
Protect your brand or domain name by using a trademark:
With a trademark your name or product is given an exclusive presence in the market, which helps customers to recognize it easily.
It is a unique method to inform the customer about the source of a product and it is crucial for those brands which are already established in the market.
Trademarks are legally protected so that spurious items bearing an identical brand name do not flood the market.
If you have a company, you may require a trademark to safeguard your commodity and help people identify it. But, the process of getting a trademark is not known by an ordinary person.
While getting your trademark, it is important to keep the following things in mind.
To begin with, it is essential that you duly register your trademark before you can take legal recourse for any infringement issues.
Generic names are generally not accepted as trademarks because of the broad spectrum of items they categorise instead of one specific product.
You also have to ensure that you are not violating an existing trademark before you apply for registration.
A quick search for your chosen trademark using a search engine would throw up any other brands, which use either similar or identical trademarks, and in such instances, it would be a sensible idea to use something more exclusive and unique.
However, even if you have come up with the ideal, unique trademark and even registered it successfully, your task isn’t over. Now you need to keep a watchful eye out for companies that might be making unlawful use of your trademark.
In such a case you can first send out a warning to the individual making use of your trademark and if that fails then resort to legal action to exercise your right over the trademark.
Another important point that you need to keep in mind is that a trademark should be renewed regularly so that you can continue to use it on an exclusive basis.