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Written by : Carletta Chien
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how to protect innovation and intellectual property in five different ways what is intellectual property intellectual property covers any original ideas designs discoveries inventions and creative work produced by an individual or group it was not a big deal to protect ip in the past however with information more accessible and easier to distribute today due to technology safeguarding your creations and works from infringers copycats and thieves has become vital to any business intellectual property protection is not just necessary to ensure that your innovations will not be copied or stolen it establishes an incentive so whatever you create can proliferate and benefit more people without violating your rights here are five different ways to protect your intellectual property the first way you can protect your intellectual property is to register copyrights trademarks and patents copyright trademark and patent are three of the most common types of intellectual property protection these grant you the exclusive rights to your creations especially when it comes to the commercial gains of its use copyright copyright applies to the protection of tangible and intangible creative works you own the copyright the moment you create something even if you did not register it however it will be easy to validate your ownership especially in a legal dispute if you take your time to register your work copyrights expire 70 years after the death of the creator but can be longer depending on the nature of the intellectual property trademark businesses use symbols designs logos and catchphrases as part of their marketing strategy and identity it is these images and words that help a company connect to its customers thus these need to be protected from possible commercial saboteurs who might use or copy the designs for their own economic gain you may register your trademark online within your country or region however the agency advice is hiring a trademark lawyer to ensure that you won't miss out any steps or paperwork to this extensive process trademarks do not carry an expiration date since you own the rights to your logos symbols and other branding identities in perpetuity however as an added protection trademark owners are encouraged by law to file for a declaration to confirm that the intellectual property is still actively used patent if you have invented a unique product machine or equipment or chemical composition you can also protect this intellectual property by filing for a patent patents carry legal protection that excludes others from making and distributing your invention unless you have given them the license there are different types of the patent process and the conditions or requirements depend on the product or invention thus you will need to carefully identify which category the intellectual property fits best most intellectual property patents are valid from 15 to 20 years after the filing date after this has lapsed your product will have a patent pending status unless you renew it with the agency in charge take your time to clearly understand the differences between copyrights trademarks and patents so you could make the right choice the second way you can protect your intellectual property is to your business product or domain names if you are planning to start a business with your intellectual property you can further protect your interest and identity by registering the business product or domain name associated with it it will also help to secure these names even if you are just in the planning stages of forming your business before others come up with a similar idea and cause some confusion for instance tech giant apple did not own the domain name apple.co.uk until 2012 since it belonged to an illustration company it was alleged that apple paid a substantial amount to the former owners to acquire the domain name your business product and domain names are part of your brand even in cases of a sole proprietorship where you conduct your business under your own name for example john doe photography service it will still help to secure registration you also gain legal protection that makes your business and intellectual property a separate entity from your own person this will prove valuable should you run into legal hitches in court business and product names are usually registered in the country where you operate and the requirements and paperwork may vary domain name registration on the other hand may be quickly done online through your preferred provider the third way you can protect your intellectual property is to create confidentiality non-disclosure or licensing contracts for employees and partners sometimes there is crucial information about your business that you should protect from leaking in public for instance you are developing a video game but you do not want the details to come out before it is ready to launch thus it will be prudent to ask the game developers and other people working for you who have knowledge or access to information or trade secrets to sign a confidentiality agreements with involved parties to ensure the intellectual property is protected confidentiality bound employees and workers to comply with your demands to keep what they know private otherwise they will be legally liable for any leaks confidentiality agreements are also known by other names including a non-disclosure agreement or nda confidential disclosure agreement or cda proprietary information agreement or pia secrecy agreement or sa licensing on the other hand grants a third-party partner with access to your products for their use branding and distribution disney for instance gives licenses to toy makers and distributors for its popular merchandise however the licensor disney in this case defines the parameters of the use of its ip which may include the quality of the products or toys as well as the distribution process since there are plenty of grounds to cover with licensing it's important to consult with lawyers to ensure that all aspects of protecting the ip are established in the licensing agreement the fourth way you can protect your intellectual property is to implement security measures nearly all businesses are conducted today using technology or the internet there is an upside to this because technology may fuel the growth dynamics and success of an operation however there are also downsides to using technology to conduct the business especially when your company's intellectual property is integrally connected online or stored in a system that may be vulnerable to hacking or file corruption thus there is a need to implement robust security measures within the information technology framework of your company these may include setting up password protection for all computer networks encrypting data especially since files are shared within the company's information technology system using virtual private network access also known as vpn establishing wi-fi protected access to invest in reliable software tools to use for storing and distributing files regardless of the size of your business for larger companies however hiring a
Thanks for your comment Javier Cassa, have a nice day.
- Carletta Chien, Staff Member
welcome to the journey today we'll be talking about tips for protecting your business's intellectual property all businesses have intellectual property or ip whether they know it or not exactly you could have created something you have your brand or a website but whatever you do have you want to make sure that you protect it because it's yours so definitely make sure you take the necessary steps all right so let's start talking about those intangible assets now these are your ideas know-how your processes they're the foundation of your business and what sets you apart from your competitors so here are some examples of different types of ips that every business has but rarely considers starting with trademarks so if you have a specific business name special name for your products or logo those are all intangible assets that can be trademarked and these trademarks are things that are specific to your business special words or images that you want to make sure that you protect and that are different from everyone else and what i like about trademarks is they represent your brand they represent your reputation you know what it is what it's going to be just make sure that it's unique to you and your customers your target audience kind of like the coffee and kit flips exactly like the coffee and kick flips and that's why it's important that you're not infringing on anyone else's ip so you want to make sure that this is unique to you again with coffee and kickflips when we were thinking of the name it was difficult at first because just the shared amount of names that are out there there's a lot of coffee out there a lot of coffee a lot of skate brands so to come up with something unique yeah it took some time took some research but we're saying that's critical for you to do make sure that you aren't doing something too similar to another business or logo or brand that's already out there and that's why it's so important to really protect your intellectual property because it's not always intentional but sometimes some other people could actually do what you've already done and you don't want that to happen because that's your baby so protect your intellectual property all right so for our next one copyright any original piece of work that has been produced in a tangible medium is considered a copyright think of music movies and it doesn't stop there you could have original website copy marketing materials and other creative works the big point here is it has to be an original work that either you've done or you've paid someone else to do you can't take someone else's work and present it as your own now this might seem oh pretty straightforward right no it's a large world on the internet it's easy to get mixed up on where was this original photo from we see it all the time on social media and businesses ask me all the time oh emma so a customer was in my restaurant they took a picture while they were there can i use that for a restaurant's instagram i always say ask always ask the original photographer of that photo before then sharing it over to your instagram for your restaurant all right so next on our list are patents now patents have been a little hard to understand because most times patents have been synonymous with an idea and i remember when i had a former job in research there was a gentleman who worked for a company and he came up with an awesome idea however the patent on that idea belonged to the company and not him so it's very important to know all the limitations of patents so in reality a patent allows you to exclude anyone else from creating or selling your invention all right so just because you've gotten your patent doesn't mean that you just kick your feet up and begin to just have money rolling in you actually have to do the work to get your product created so if you think i have this great idea then go ahead get a patent attorney so that way you do it right work with an expert and it's better than trying to just do it on your own i'll go to wikipedia and figure it out that may not work so next up i want to talk about trade secrets one of my favorite things to talk about and it's because this is when you have something about your business or your company that is only known to you the business and it reminds me of it reminds me of when i worked at dagwood's deli in bloomington indiana don't worry john i'm not going to give away your secret but when after we were hired we actually had to sign a statement that said we would not tell the secret sauce recipe there was just yeah i can't tell you but there was this great sauce that we put on all of our sandwiches that everyone was just jonesing for and i can't even remember the recipe but at the time it was a big deal i had to keep it a secret for the owner all right so trade secrets are processes formulas or methods that you use to create your product so like in emma's case you want to make sure that you have these agreements in place with those who know your information to keep it confidential under threat of legal action all right let's jump into some tips i recommend plan ahead because you might not be able to do everything at once or protect everything at once and things pop up maybe you need more money than you thought so get a calendar out plan ahead get time on your side and next you want to have an employee agreement it's an important piece to the ip puzzle now this is different than a non-disclosure and that's right nondisclosure is going to protect your ip from any public disclosure so for example let's say some people were coming through dagwood's deli while we're making the secret sauce they can't then leave the business that day and go replicate it or share that recipe so the employee agreement keeps your employees from leaking your ip and then non-disclosure protects you from having people outside your business leaking your ip also want to talk about agreements with consultants or vendors keep in mind you're paying them for a service but you still have an ip this is your property it's your idea they can't go and take it all right so next you want to make sure that you file the patent application because no one wants to disclose that they have this great idea that intellectual property before you know it's yours and you own it so if your product or service has a specific name make sure you protect that so for example remember snuggies the snuggie it's so long yeah you have one of course you're like i have two so that if you have something unique like that the snuggie you can protect it you'll notice as seen on or tm afterwards all right so now let's talk about the internet if you find something online it doesn't necessarily mean that it's okay to use if you're gonna use some kind of creative piece of work and commercial purposes make sure that you reach out to the one that owns the copyright and make sure you have their express consent to use it for instance at my job at godaddy most times content creators if they're using some kind of stock photo they want to make sure that it's either not copyright protected so they're going to use it with no problem or if it
Thanks salariatzJ your participation is very much appreciated
- Carletta Chien
About the author
I've studied problem solving at University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande and I am an expert in archaeological culture. I usually feel enthralled. My previous job was agricultural technician I held this position for 21 years, I love talking about acroyoga and nail art. Huge fan of S Club 7 I practice athletics and collect autographs.
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