Intellectual property can be defined as a kind of umbrella term for intangible assets, meaning assets that you may not be able to hold, yet have some intrinsic value.
Most companies not only hold intellectual property under their name and value them greatly but may be identified by them. The use of certain intellectual properties without the consent of its owner may lead to legal battles. In fact, using intellectual property irresponsibly can cause its value to drop.
If you’re starting a business, then you’ll likely invest in many kinds of intellectual properties. But, what kind of intellectual properties might you use? Here’s what you should know:
Many people create inventions and fear they may be stolen and used without crediting the inventor. As such, people can patient inventions, designs, processes and improvements with the U.S. Patient and Trademark Office. Yet, not everything can be patented, such as ideas.
When an original work is produced, it can be granted a copyright. A copyright gives the original creator or owner the right to use, copy, alter or distribute their creation. For example, a book can’t be copied and reprinted without first contacting the author or copyright holder.
Businesses are often identified by a symbol, brand, phrase, logo or insignia, which can be trademarked to ensure they keep their identity on products. A trademark often protects businesses from having their identity reproduced, much like a copyright, but can hold more power in a legal battle.
4. Trade secrets
What makes a business successful? Whatever that might be is often protected under trade secrets. Trade secrets are made so they aren’t revealed to the public.
If you’re forming or running a business and believe you need to know your legal options when protecting your intellectual property, then you should take the necessary steps to do so.