How to Protect Intellectual Property

How to Protect Intellectual Property

Intellectual property refers to the property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks. Without the proper intellectual property protection, businesses and individuals risk losing ownership over their product or service. IP protection allows businesses and individuals to reap the full benefits of their invention and establish a guarded revenue stream.

Simply put, it is easier to turn an original idea into profit, and intellectual property protection ensures your original idea or creation is authentically yours.

Intellectual Property Rights: Protection and Definition

The four most common types of intellectual property protections are copyrights, trade secrets, patents, and trademarks. Each type of IP protection has different rights regarding its protection and ownership. See below:

Copyright: With a copyright, the owner has the right to reproduce, display, distribute, and sell the work, as well as prepare for its derivative.

Trademarks: A trademark owner may ban others from using the trademark or similar variations of the trademark.

Trade Secrets: The owner of a trade secret may prevent others from using, copying, or benefiting from the trade secret. The owner may also impose a non-disclosure agreement and/or refuse others to steal or use the secret if they know the information is protected.

Patents: The patent owner may generally exclude others from using or benefitting from the idea, creation, design, or invention in any way. Patents can last for up to 20 years.

Here are some other ways you can effectively protect your intellectual property:

  • Store documents in a secure, password-protected space: Documents containing sensitive IP information should be stored on a protected platform or cloud. With 81% of security breaches due to poor or stolen passwords, businesses should ensure their sensitive documents require two-factor authentication.

  • Create IP agreements with employees: Create a non-disclosure or licensing contract for employees, contractors, and partners to ensure sensitive information is kept confidential.

  • Avoid joint ownership: Joint ownership of intellectual property grants every owning party the right to copy, recreate, manipulate or distribute the IP without consulting or gaining approval from each owner. If you would like to keep your IP in your own hands, do not agree to joint IP ownership.

  • Register the business/service/product or domain name: In the beginning stages of IP formation, it is a good idea to quickly register the business, product, and domain name under the same association. If an individual or business owner delays the registration, they risk losing ownership of the IP’s associated domain name, business name, etc. In some cases, IP owners may have to purchase their IP’s domain name from a previous owner.

Intellectual Property Theft Damage

Intellectual property theft causes about $13.5 million in damage each year. Some of these offenses include counterfeit trademarks, counterfeit drug trafficking, counterfeit labeling, and copyright infringement. Additionally, other penalties include the theft of trade secrets or recording a movie, also known as “camcording.”

Failing to protect your intellectual property may place power in the wrong hands. Saade Law vigorously defends each clients’ rights in infringement actions, trademark oppositions, due diligence matters, and in all areas of commercial transactions. Whether you’re a multinational corporation or the individual owner of a business, Saade Law protects our clients’ brand and trademarks. Contact us today or call (786) 633-1114.