Basics of intellectual property
The property or creations of your mind or intellect are categorized as Intellectual property. Viewed as a creative output and its outcome can be used as a tradable commodity. It mainly consists of a new idea, new process, information, knowledge or any new product developed that must belong to you then it is considered as your IP. You will need to register it in your name to be the legal owner of it.
Intellectual property nowadays is considered as a valuable asset to any company. It needs to be protected in a better way to avoid any hierarchy. To get a better understanding of the process and benefits of IP one can take the help of intellectual property legal services as each country has its different laws for IP.
Types of IP protection
Intellectual property rights are specific legal rights that protect the ideas or plans of owners of IP which are subdivided into the major categories below.
- Patent rights
A patent is a right granted to the owner lasting for 20 years. It can be for any device, substance, method or process for describing an invention and paying fees to the Patent Office.
It should be –
- innovative, and
One should never disclose or promote any idea to anyone without first applying for a patent as this may affect the chances of having it registered.
- Trademark rights
A trademark is a logo used to distinguish the goods and services of one business from another. It is a distinctive sign applied to or associated with products or services.
The trademark is been used in any form letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, etc. To retain the exclusive rights of your trademark you need to register it before use.
- Design rights
Design rights refer to the features or aspects of shape, size, configuration, pattern or ornamentation of any unique product. Product appearance must be new and distinctive to be registered. The registered designs can be used for commercial purposes, or one can license or sell them. It is valid for 25 years. Unregistered designs can protect internal or external features.
Copyright is usually associated with literary and dramatic works, artistic and musical works, audio and video recordings, broadcasts and cable transmissions. It is an automatic legal right given to the authors or creators of original works and it does not need to be applied for. You can copyright works but not ideas and even computer programs and databases are copyrighted to keep it protected.
- Confidentiality/ trade secrets rights
Confidential information or trade secrets are valuable assets of a business firm. It is possessed by the owner and can only be revealed under a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement. This right is used by an individual or an institution to protect their creative output from imitators.
- Database right
Database rights apply to databases that are not protected by copyright and have a maximum duration of 15 years.
Steps to undertake before embarking with Intellectual Property legal services
Understanding Intellectual property is an important aspect of business life and here are some basic tips to understand –
- Start early – Include Intellectual Property during your business plan. Take help from experienced Intellectual property law firms to decode your queries.
- Consider trademarks – Use a trademark with a proper business name to get exclusive rights over that name.
- Take responsibility – Always manage and renew your IP registration on time.
- Avoid publicizing your idea – Never discuss, show or sell your creation with other people or make sure you sign a confidentiality agreement.
- IP is for everyone – IP protection is available to anyone, regardless of business size so opt for these services. If you need proper guidance to know about your rights then do contact Intellectual property consultants and protect your ideas and concepts securely.