Intellectual Property Explained

If you’re a business owner, you probably hear the buzz phrase “intellectual property” on a regular basis. But what exactly is intellectual property? And how can you protect yours? Understanding intellectual property is critical for business owners. We explain this important aspect of business in this blog post.

What counts as intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) is anything you create or invent. Some examples include:

  • Literary works
  • Artistic works (including graphics, video, sound, architectural designs, and more)
  • Logos
  • Software
  • Databases
  • Designs for manufactured products
  • Techniques, formulas, or processes that give you an edge over competitors (trade secrets)
  • And so much more!

In the eyes of the law, our intellectual property belongs to us just as much as physical property like a house or a car. However, securing your intellectual property rights takes time and effort.

How do you protect my intellectual property?

There are three main legal tools that business owners and other creators and inventors can use to protect their intellectual property. Each has its own process and requirements, which a lawyer can help you navigate.

Trademarks: Your trademark is the name, word, phrase, or symbol that is used to identify your company, your goods, or your services. It is easier to protect a name that is fanciful, like a made up word, than something direct. You may be protected by common law trademark protection if your IP is recognized in the area where you use it. When starting out, though, it is helpful to register with national and regional trademark offices to fully protect your rights.

Patents: A patent can protect your design or manufacturing process. You will need to demonstrate that you’ve come up with a new way of doing something or you have found a way to use technology to solve a problem. You’ll have to file a patent application, which includes technical information and is disclosed publicly.

Copyrights: Artworks, literary works, and other creative productions are protected under copyright. In the United States, copyright is obtained automatically when you create something and there is no need for registration. However, you can voluntarily register your copyrighted materials, and this can be helpful in solving any disputes that may arise.

Whether you’re already established or you’re just starting your business, it is important to take the right measures to protect your intellectual property. An experienced business lawyer can help you with the process. Call Greenbaum Law Firm, P.A. today at 800-518-4498.

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Greenbaum Law Firm, P.A.

The Greenbaum Law Firm, P.A. is a boutique, client-centric law firm concentrating in the areas of business and corporate law, contracts and agreements, and real estate. Our unique approach to the practice of law consists of positioning our clients at the center of the legal practice and pursuing their objectives in the most efficient and transparent manner.

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