As things have progressed in the world, what is considered as property has been revolutionized as well. Gone are the days when property just used to be a piece of land. Nowadays, it’s much more complex than before. Intellectual property can be anything from a digital asset to an idea or even an impression that an individual or company has ownership of. Understanding the rules and regulations involving intellectual property can be quite difficult. In this article, we’ll look at 6 things you need to know about intellectual property.
What is Intellectual Property?
Anything conjured up by your mind, any idea, that may be used in a business is known as intellectual property. It ranges from inventions to content and even logos. It’s akin to a digital asset that has a monetary value to it. Here are the 6 things you need to know about intellectual property.
1. Intellectual Property Protection
The intellectual property holds immense importance for a business. It is a symbol of their uniqueness and may even be one of the main reasons for their success. It is important for every business to protect its intellectual property. Many people would like to use what you created as it has a certain value, and this is why your business is different from others. This value can be in your artistic touch, your domain name, and even your logo. Therefore, it is of immense importance that you do everything you can to ensure your intellectual property is protected.
2. What are Patents?
Patents are a type of ownership of inventions or processes. You may invent something new or improve an old process or invention, such that it has changed to a certain degree. You now have the right to make it your property as you’ve invented it. This is called patenting. It gives you the right to exclude other people from using or commercializing your invention for a period of time. Once you’ve invented something new, you need to write an application to file for a patent. Thorough research will be done on your invention to see if it has been done before or not. Once the uniqueness of your invention or process has been verified, you can have ownership over it.
Copyrights are also an important concept to understand regarding intellectual property. It is essentially ownership over a piece of “work”. The work needs to be genuinely and uniquely yours. It consists of photos, music, content, and even any software. Every individual or business should protect their intellectual property at all costs. However, you need to know that copyrights do not protect anything that falls under a slogan or a trademark. These are common law rights and the best part about them is that there is no legal process or registration required to have them.
4. The Use of NDA
NDA is a Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is an agreement that binds the other party, preventing them from sharing or using your ideas or work. NDAs are particularly useful while you’re working with a group of people on a product. You can simply sign an NDA and then proceed to work with them. This way, they’re obligated by law to keep your ideas safe and not share them with anyone else. However, you need to be aware of the fact that NDA doesn’t apply when you’re talking to a group of people.
5. Importance of Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are any type of valuable information that gives your business an edge in the market. This information can include processes, suppliers, and even customers. To maintain secrecy, individuals adhered to a culture of not sharing them with anyone outside the business. You can either patent this information or keep it as a trade secret. However, if the information becomes available to the public due to reverse engineering, and it becomes public knowledge, then it is no longer a trade secret.
The purpose of a trademark is to convey brand information. Trademarks can be logos or even words and phrases. These are unique to your business and you should protect them at all costs. When choosing a logo or mark for your business, try to pick or make one that is completely different. This is because trademarks become your identity and you want your identity to be unique. Nowadays, there are traditional and non-traditional trademarks. Once you choose a trademark, you need to get it registered to give it legal effect and officially make it your intellectual property.
Protecting your intellectual property is of immense importance. You need to ensure that you patent everything you’ve invented or discovered. This will exclude others from selling or using it. Ownership through patents, copyrights, and trademarks will be the key to ensuring your business succeeds. Once your trade secrets are made public and people start copying your ideas, this will trigger a series of adverse effects that may even signal the downfall of your business. Therefore, it’s imperative that no matter what happens, you take all the precautionary measures to protect your digital assets and intellectual property.