With more and more individuals having the freedom to create new, innovative ideas while mixing that in with social media, the questions of intellectual property only increases. If you are finding yourself in a battle over ideas and their rights, turn to Behren Law Firm to help you settle the dispute. With over twenty five years of serving the Weston, Florida area, we have the expertise and skills necessary to help you fight for your creative rights.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property, or IP, refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, designs, names and images used for commerce. This intellectual property is protected by copyrights, trademarks, and patents, offering everyone the right to be creative while also earning them recognition and the potential for financial gains from their inventions. It also provides a peace of mind from worrying about someone stealing or using your ideas wrongfully without there being repercussions involved. Of course it’s still possible for people to use your ideas and inventions, but you will now have the opportunity to prove that the creations are your own and may be entitled to any earnings the person may have received from using your ideas.
What Is Considered IP?
Types of intellectual property can be vast, since it’s all creative endeavors. There are four primary types of IP that can be protected: copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets. Each category has their own attributes, requirements and costs associated with protecting your ideas under them. For copyrights, they don’t actually protect the idea but rather the manner in which ideas are expressed, or “original works of authorship”. Examples are written works, art, music, architectural drawings, and even programming codes for software. Most copyrights allow the owner of the protected ideas to control reproduction, performances, new adaptations or public performances and distribution of the original work. Once an idea is connected to a tangible medium, the copyright is attached to it, although to gain better protection of your materials, you can seek registration with a government copyright, typically through an application process. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, sounds, smells and even color schemes. They are often considered assets that can describe or identify products or services, typically in line with a business, such as company logos, colors, or distinct sounds that instantly make you think of a brand or company. Again, once you regularly use a different phrase or symbol enough times, it is considered protected, but to gain more security you can get government approval.
A patent, on the other hand, protects the inventive idea or process itself. A new, useful or unobvious idea or object is what most patents defend, and can even include new engineered plant species. This is the most common form of intellectual property, and is most often a product of a company conceptualizing and brainstorming on either a fix to a product or idea or fully creating something new. If the idea is viable enough, a patent application will be completed, giving a company or individual the ability to control who gets the specific information in order to flesh out or create the idea. Trade secrets pertain to proprietary procedures, systems, devices, formulas, strategies or other information that is confidential or exclusive to the company using them. They are mainly used as a competitive advantage to a business, and actually don’t have a federally-regulated registration process. The responsibility of the trade secrets is actually put all onto the company itself to entrust the secrets stay that away within the company, oftentimes marking these documents as “Confidential” to stress the importance of keeping it hush.
Keeping It All Together
Whether you are an individual or a company, understanding the concepts and rules behind intellectual property can save you time and money in the future, along with a headache if someone starts crediting your work incorrectly. It’s important to know the differences between the main types and which ones fit your idea or concept the best, ensuring you have full protection in case you need it.
Do you feel as if someone is taking advantage of your intellectual property in some capacity? Trust Behren Law Firm in Weston to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today!