Protecting your intellectual property can be harder now more than ever, especially since the avid use of the internet. Intellectual property includes anything from your original ideas, designs, discoveries, inventions and creative work produced by you or a group of people with you in it. Protecting those kinds of things are crucial to the success of your business because it allows you to confidently share your intellectual property without the fear that it will be copied or stolen. Here are some tips you to protect your intellectual property, whether you want to implement a consulting firm like GHB intellect or you want to do it yourself.
Avoid Filing Patents
Patents may seem like the smart idea, but you could actually be setting yourself up. Your patent gives a step-by-step breakdown of how your product or service can be created. When you file something like that, it is published for the public to see. All they need to do is some research. Someone can easily create a homogeneous product with some really clever ways to ensure they are not violating your intellectual property rights.
Register Your Copyrights And Trade
Copyrights are extremely important as they apply to the protection of tangible and intangible creative works. It is something that you own instantaneously. As soon as you create something, no matter what it is, you own the copyright even if you do not register it. Registering your copyright is highly recommended because it will be easier to prove that you own that creative work in court. Keep in mind that copyrights expire 70 years after the death of its creator, but it ultimately depends on the nature of the intellectual property.
Trademarks are slightly different than copyrights. These are things like symbols, designs, logos, catchphrases. Trademarks are typically used in marketing strategies and identifying a brand. These have to be protected at all costs because those are the first things your customers connect with. Be sure to register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, though it is recommended that you hire a trademark lawyer. You want to make sure nothing slips through the cracks when it comes to the paperwork. Unlike copyrights, trademarks do not have expiration dates. You own the rights to your logos, symbols and other branding identities in perpetuity.
Implement A Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure or Licensing Contracts
There is nothing wrong with asking employees to sign a confidentiality, non-disclosure or licensing contract as these are imperative to making sure your business does not fall prey to leaking intellectual property. Keep in mind confidentiality agreements have to be prepared by lawyers. They bound your employees to comply with your demand to keep intellectual property private. On the other hand, licensing agreements allow for third-party partners to use your products for branding and distribution.
These few tips will put you in the right direction to protecting your creative intellectual property. Following these tips will reduce your chances of having your IP stolen.