Intellectual property refers to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law. Intellectual property rights are the rights granted to the creators of Intellectual property and include:
- industrial design rights, and
- in some jurisdictions trade secrets.
- Artistic works including music and literature,
- as well as discoveries,
- symbols, and
- designs, can all be protected as intellectual property.
Intellectual property has a very broad scope and thus it can be said that Intellectual property rights include patents, copyright, industrial design rights, trademarks, plant variety rights, trade dress, geographical indications, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets. There are also more specialized or derived varieties of sui generis exclusive rights, such as circuit design rights (called mask work rights in the US) and supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceutical products (after the expiry of a patent protecting them) and database rights (in European law).
All businesses have intellectual property, regardless of their size or sector.
Thus, it goes without saying that all businesses have intellectual property, regardless of their size or sector. This could be the name of your business, copyright, designs, patents, and trademarks. Your Intellectual property is likely to be a valuable asset. Securing and protecting it could be essential to your business’ future success. In the other words, Intellectual property often translates directly to monetary gain. If you don’t know how to adequately protect your intellectual property, your business is at risk.
Intellectual property often translates directly to monetary gain.
The importance of protecting your Intellectual property can be more easily understood as follows: if you do not protect it, you will have to risk the losing one of the following:
- Branding: Establishing a strong brand is pivotal to business success. Protecting that brand is equally important. The name of your company and its logo are part of the branding that sets your business apart. Elements of your brand, from your company name to your logo can be subsumed and eroded. This can damage perceptions in the market of your quality, products, and reputation.
- Products: Unique investments that you’ve made developing technologies may be compromised; only through proper patenting, etc. can you ensure that you control and can market the products you develop.
- Ideas and thought leadership: Protecting original contributions to the thinking around your industry can be an important step to establishing your company as a market leader. Copyrights ensure proper attribution of your materials.
As such, there is no doubt that, in a business, intellectual property is everywhere. The name that you choose will be your trademark, even the smallest new process created within your firm may be patentable, and much of the creative work of your employees will be protected by copyright. Protecting your intellectual property rights is protecting your business, so you must claim your intellectual property rights before it’s too late.
Have questions? Talk to an experienced intellectual property attorney today! Contact us.