Intellectual Property Protection

Written by Peter Tran

July 28, 2017

It is absolutely vital that all companies, especially up-and-coming businesses,
protect their intellectual property. Entrepreneurs are encourag to have a proper
understanding of the different of intellectual property and the processes
involv in protecting their assets. In fact, a company has a strong competitive
advantage when they secure ownership to the exclusion of others. Intellectual property
protection may be obtain under four distinct areas of law: patent law, trade secret
protection, trademark law, and copyright law.

Patents- A patent grants the inventor the right to prohibit others
from , using, or selling their invention. The patent itself is a document
that describes the full extent of the invention and its claims. Entrepreneurs are
strongly encourag to seek consultation with a qualifi patent advisor who can
guide and counsel them about the patent process.

For patent application rights fil after June 8, 1995, the inventor’s patent
rights last for 20 years from the effective date of the application. In order to
obtain a patent, the invention must satisfy three critical tests:

In the U.S., inventors must file a patent application with the Unit States Patent
and Trademark Office within one year of their invention. If the inventor fails to
file a ly patent application, then another inventor, with the same invention,
may obtain patent rights, and the first inventor will not be able to profit from

Trade secret protection- Trade secret is information that obtains
independent financial value from not being generally known. The trade-secret owner
must take precaonary measures to presee the confidentiality of the trade secret.
Trade secret protection will continue as long as such precaons are taken and
the information remains confidential.

No application or registration process is ne. Trade secret owners are protect
under state laws to obtain monetary damages from misappropriation.

Trademarks- A trademark is a word, symbol, sign, or device, or
a combination of them that are us to distinguish particular goods or s.
Trademarks generate much of the consumer awareness and association. As a result,
they are consider a marketing advantage. Trademark protection applies without
the ne to file any registration for the goods or s; however, the rights
are not as powerful when the trademark is not register and could be limit by
someone registering the same name or a similar mark. Â

To register your trademark, you must file an application with the Unit States
Patent Trademark Office. A ferally register trademark can have 3 advantages:

Copyright- A copyright grants protection to authors of original
works. Protectable crions include writings, songs, artistic and dramatic works,
architecture, motion pictures, and computer . The copyright Act gives the
owner of the copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative
works, distribute copies of the works, publicly perform, or display the works.

For works that were cr after January 1, 1978, copyright protection rights last
for the life of the author plus an addition 70 years. As with trademarks, copyright
protection can apply regardless of feral registration (Unit States Copyright
Office); however, copyright owners are encourag to register their works so they
can be eligible for statutory damages and attorney fees in successful litigations.

Securing ownership to the exclusion of others through patents, trade-secrets, trademarks,
and copyrights are ways in which companies can protect their intellectual property.
While some property protection does not ne to be register, companies are strongly
encourag to take advantage of such registration so they will be protect under
the law and be able to profit from their discoveries.



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