When someone takes physical property from your business or organization, it is clearly a case of theft. However, cases of intellectual property theft are more complicated to discover and enforce.
Intellectual property includes intangible products of the human mind. It includes the communication of artistic creations, concepts, inventions and ideas. Usually, the property is protected by patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Protecting your IP
Protecting your IP is a must to ensure others don’t use it without permission or consent.
One method of protection is trademarking. This can be used to protect a specific phrase, word or symbol. The stipulation to the protection is that the mark is used continuously or for no more than a decade. If a lapse of more than 10 years occurs, the company must reapply for trademark protection. Trademarks can be given before any unique features are used or requested after your company begins using them.
A patent is another way to protect intellectual property. With this, the creator of an idea or product receives a temporary monopoly. It requires that a specific creation be both unique and relevant and not exist anywhere else in a similar form. It should also be useful. To be issued a patent, it is necessary to include all the materials, processes and ingredients used to create the patented item.
Your legal rights and options
If you have intellectual property that you want to protect, you have several options. Knowing the legal rights to these protections and how to use them will help ensure your IP is safe and that you have options if someone else tries to use it.