Intellectual property is the work or invention that is the result of creativity for which someone has legal rights. If you are an entrepreneur, you may be familiar with the idea of intellectual property. This is what dictates ownership of product inventions, business names and even logos and taglines. However, it is also important that you understand the five types of rights that are used for protecting intellectual property. To find out more about the various legal terms for these rights, keep reading below.
A copyright is one of the most commonly understood rights involved in protecting intellectual property. This helps to protect original works of authorship. It includes literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and does not require public distribution to go into effect. If you write an original song for your business, it is automatically yours regardless of whether you actually use it. This is important to know so that you can protect any of your artistic expression for your business.
Designs fall under the category of patents. However, they are slightly more unique because they are primarily focused on ornamental inventions. This is also often considered an extension of the copyright law because it relates to more artistic endeavors. The laws protecting intellectual property of designs are based in aesthetics and outward appearance. They protect digital agency designs and other similar applications. If you are looking to create a very unique looking product, this is a good law to keep in mind.
Patents are an intellectual property right that focuses on products and mechanical processes. This grants property rights to an inventor who has discovered or created a process, machine or article of manufacture. Once a patent is filed, the owner has exclusive rights to creation, distribution or use of a product or process. If you are an entrepreneur, this is a key one to understand if you plan to build a business around your own unique invention.
A trademark protects words, names, symbols and more that are used to distinguish goods and services from different manufacturers or businesses. Many entrepreneurs are interested in attaining a trademark for their business name so that they can protect their identity. In a competitive market, a commodity broker can trust that a trademark will be protected. Likewise, if you want consumers to know that you are the true, original purveyor of their favorite goods and services, consider getting a trademark for your intellectual property.
Finally, a trade secret is another form of property that many business owners and entrepreneurs should be familiar with. The legal protections for this type of intellectual property is limited. Instead, it is most often up to the entrepreneur to secure the information. Trade secrets can be anything from a recipe to a customer list. As an entrepreneur, you will want to ensure that the information is in the hands of trusted individuals, perhaps a funding partner. As long as you can keep it from becoming public knowledge, your intellectual property is protected.
There are a variety of rights protecting your intellectual property. As an entrepreneur, it is important that you become familiar with this type of information so that you can protect what is necessary to start your own business. Whether you file a patent or register a trademark, remember to refer back to this post so that you can identify all of your legal ownership rights.
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