Intellectual property or IP is intangible creations of the human mind. These creations can include designs, literature, inventions, artistic works, and many more. When you have any creation categorized as intellectual property, you can have it protected by law. Doing so would give you copyright, trademark, or patent, which gives you the authorization to use these properties and use them however you see fit.
So, when you start a product, service, or idea you’re planning to turn into a source of income like a business, you will need to become familiar with many things, including financial strategies. But knowing more about how intellectual property works and if it applies to your situation is also advantageous.
How To Protect Your Intangible Assets
Businesses would usually spend money on investing, securing, and getting insurance for many things like their stocks, assets, and equipment. But these are tangible things, and intellectual properties are not, which makes it trickier to secure them.
Of course, whenever you release a new product, logo, brand image, service, etc., it has characteristics that make them original. These could be copied and reproduced by competitors and profit off of your creations. You wouldn’t want that, so here are some ways on how you can protect your intellectual properties:
The intangible assets that are mostly copyrighted are literature, photography, art, music, TV shows, field recordings, websites, and more. In a nutshell, getting copyright would limit people from using your original work without your approval. Even if they get your consent, the copyright will protect you from anyone else to claim your creation is theirs.
If this sounds like a lot of work for you, the good news is that you don’t need to go somewhere or talk to an attorney and pay a lot of money to copyright your work, as anything you produce is automatically protected by law.
There are different time frames for how long the law prohibits anyone from using any copyrighted work. For literary pieces like films, music, art, plays, etc., and sound recordings, the copyright will end 70 years after their creator has passed away. TV and radio broadcasts can also be copyrighted and will end 50 years from when they first aired.
Get a patent.
If you’re a scientist on the brink of an invention that you wouldn’t want any companies to get a hold of and profit from, you should have it patented as soon as possible. A patent is a form of exclusive right given to any invention, like a tool or machine, that will publicize any technical information about it. As long as it’s a new type of invention and not an upgrade or a different version of one that is currently existing, and it can be used, then you can patent it.
Getting a patent is trickier than acquiring copyright, of course. Right after you document the process of creating your invention and finally finish it, you have to show proof that your invention is more than just an idea. During this process, you also have to research to ensure no one else has patented the same tool or the machine, then look at how commercially viable your invention is.
Now, you’re halfway through the patenting process. The next thing you have to do is hire an attorney to help you with the patenting process. This attorney will help you submit an application for patenting with all the information about your invention. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by The Patent Office to approve or reject you.
Get a trademark.
Of course, you can also protect images, slogans, phrases, symbols, devices, etc., that you created. Getting this done is not as complicated as getting a patent. The first thing you need to do is search government websites to see if anything similar has already been trademarked. Then if there are no similar results, you can proceed to file an application. This document will be reviewed by government authorities and examine what you are trademarking. Then register it if everything goes smoothly and without any opposition from anyone from the public.
Know Your Rights
Coming up with an idea, an invention, or anything original can be a milestone that can be profitable for you, especially if it will help humanity. So, if you’re on the verge of coming up with something groundbreaking and original, look at how you can protect yourself, your work, ideas, and your intellectual property.