Business owners and entrepreneurs need to know the ways that they can protect their intellectual properties. Hard-earned creations, inventions and ideas can be a source of great money so protecting it from others who want to get hard-earned work is the right choice to do. You can protect your intellectual property through the various intellectual property rights in your country. These rights differ from country to country so make sure that the one you will apply is applicable to your country.
Various intellectual property rights are needed to encourage investors to invest in your business venture. Without some sort of intellectual property protection, investors will veer away from you because the benefits that they can earn from your business will not be guaranteed. The use of intellectual property rights will prevent any unauthorized use of your intellectual property. You will also get full control of the distribution of your inventions. Copying will be prevented. Also, you will have the right to retain, license or even sell your intellectual property to other people. The intellectual property rights that you can get have four types. Below is the list of the four types of intellectual property rights that you can use.
By obtaining copyrights of your work, you will be able to protect your original works of authorship. Original works of authorship can be works related with music, literature, artistic works, software, website and many other more. If you will be a holder of a copyright, you will also get the exclusive right to adapt, reproduce and distribute all your original works without having the permission of anyone. The copyright that you can get will exist the very moment your work is created. Registration for copyright ownership is voluntary so once you invented an idea, get a copyright right away so that no one will dare to copy your hard-earned work.
But before you get copyrights for your original works, you need to register at the copyright office in your country. You need to do this because all registered copyrights can be eligible for statutory damages and an attorney if there will be an infringement suit. Also, you can easily register your copyright online just by completing an online application. You must pay a non-refundable fee of $35 before you can send the non-returnable copy of your works.
The average time that you need to wait before your application for copyright is released is around two to three months. This range of time is applicable to both paper and online applications. Moreover, the life of your copyright will depend on several factors. Your copyright is not forever so you need to make sure when your copyright will be expired. You can just visit the copyright office in your country for you to know more about the details of copyright life span.
If you are a scientist or a great inventor, then you must be aware of patents. A patent will be able to grant you will property right on all of your inventions. You will get a patent just by filing an application to an office in your country that processes patents.
Patents have three different type. These types are design, utility and plant. Utility patent is actually the most common type of patent that you can possibly get. This patent will cover any process, article of manufacture, machine, composition of matter and all types of new improvements that you have originally developed. However, not all of your inventions can get patents because there are some qualifications that you must fill first before you become eligible for a patent. In order to qualify, the inventions that you want to be patented must be non-obvious, novel and very useful. This means that changing one part of an old machine and giving it some changes will not guarantee you that you will have a patent. Meanwhile, the design patent will only cover original, new and ornamental design that can be manufactured.
The plant patent will just cover all new inventions on all asexually-produced plants. All design patents cal last for around 14 years while the plant patent can last for around 20 years. Application for patent is quite complicated because you will need to spend thousands of dollars just to get patents for your inventions. In order to make the application process easy, you can hire a patent attorney.
A trademark is referred to as a phrase, symbol, word, design or anything that will distinguish the owner from its competitors. Trademarks can be acquired by use. You need to register first that trademark of your business in the appropriate agency in your country for you to get intellectual property rights. In order to apply, you must be able to clearly represent the mark that you will use for your business or product brands. You can also submit an application online and pay the necessary fees to process your application. Through having trademarks, you will be able to grow your business because if your trademarks become popular, your products and services will also be popular.
4. Trade secrets
A trade secret is usually defined as a process, device, formula or business information that companies want to keep secret in order for their competitors not to use it against them. Examples of these trade secrets are customer lists, soda formula, survey results, algorithms in computers and many other more. Unlike the other three types of intellectual property, trade secrets can’be obtained through registering it in a country agency. Instead, protection will last as long as you will do the necessary steps to make it secret to other people. Some ways that you can use to maintain trade secrets are the use of non-disclosure agreements, post-employment restrictive covenants, restricted access to all confidential information and other security practices.
Indeed, possessing intellectual property rights will enable you to fully enjoy all your hard-earned ideas, inventions, software, machines and many other more. You will also be able to prevent your competitors from copying your inventions because doing so will make them go to jail and pay fines.