For any business, the right to tangible assets such as equipment, land, and the like is considered to be common knowledge, and there are no concerns about ownership in such a case. But what about the intangible assets such as the names, symbols, and images?
Any creation of the mind that has value is regarded as an intellectual property of a business and can be given exclusive rights to. While businesses most often neglect the importance of intellectual property, it is beneficial to know how gaining exclusive rights to intangible assets can help you protect and maintain the identity of your business.
Once the business has succeeded in achieving such protection, they have the right to exploit, use, and distribute their intellectual material. In this article, we will discuss the different types of Intellectual Property Protection that are available for businesses.
Copyrights exist to protect the tangible form of your intangible assets. This refers to the expression of your ideas or concepts in the form of pictures, soundtracks, architectural or choreographic works, and even software programs. Such rights protect businesses from getting their ideas copied by competitors and are hence considered to be extremely important for the success of a business.
Patents are granted to those ideas and processes that bring about a factor of invention and innovation. There are three kinds of patents that can be achieved:
To be eligible for a patent, you need to make sure that there are no similar processes that exist in the market. Once you have a patent, you gain the exclusive right of making, using, and selling the innovation. Most businesses come up with ways to do something in a better way and thus seek protection for this new and innovative process of doing an old task.
Trademarks are sought for intangible assets that are used to protect or give identity to the products and services of the business. These assets can include names, symbols, designs, and phrases. However, to get protection for your idea, you need to make sure that the name or symbol is not associated with any other business in the same category. Trademarks are usually given for a particular category only, and hence the same name can be used in other category products. It is also advisable to look for the existence of similar names or symbols by going through the list shared by USPTO.
4. Trade Secrets
Any confidential information that plays an important role in deriving an economic value for your business can be secured by maintaining trade secrets. The most common example that is given for this category is the formula used for Coca-Cola. Using a non-disclosure agreement can help businesses secure their trade secrets. Trade secrets are not granted by the U.S. Government but act as a regulator in case of infringement.
Protecting your intellectual property is essential for developing a business that has a distinctive identity. However, the process to obtain such rights can prove to be an exhaustive process which is why it is recommended to hire an intellectual property attorney for all your needs. Contact Michael Ahmadshahi, PhD, Law Offices and start your process today!