Every person has a fundamental right to claim entitlement to their creations. One of the growing concerns in today’s age and time is that of intellectual property rights, their enforcement, as well importance.
Without the protection of ideas, businesses and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions. since the stealer would make a killing from the work which he has not even done.
This would lead to a serious decrease in focus on research and development of startups and businesses. Low morale and shattered confidence being the reason for not getting the deserved recognition would gravely affect innovators’ creativity, innovation, and productivity.
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What is Intellectual Property?
According to WIPO intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary, artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Intellectual property rights are precious since it grants the inventor privileges, such as the exclusive right and the right to exclude others from using.
Therefore, the inventor must secure their intellectual property rights to prevent third parties from infringing their rights. While developing innovation or creating an authorial work is costly, the efforts may be lost if intellectual property rights are not secured in time.
Types of Intellectual Property
By seeking property rights over your intellectual property, you establish rightful ownership and prevent the unlawful use of your property.
There are four main types of intellectual property protection, they include:
Type #1: Patents
A patent is a form of monopoly that the government grants to an individual or a business entity to prevent others from creating, using, or selling your innovation.
You have to be the “first to file” within a year of the sale, offer for sale, public disclosure, or public usage. A written description of the invention must be included in your patent application. Typically, patent protection lasts for 20 years.
Type #2: Copyrights
A copyright is a legal term that refers to the legal protection of authorial works such as songs, novels, movies, and photographs. You have the right to prevent others from copying, distributing, or making derivatives of your work if you have copyright.
However, you must keep in mind that copyrights only protect the idea’s expression and not the concept or idea itself. Suppose you were to take a picture of a flower. Copyright will be able to protect the photograph of the flower, but others can still take their own photographs of that very same flower.
Type #3: Trademarks
A trademark protects your business and grants the right to prevent third parties from adopting similar logos. The more one uses the mark, the more secure they are. Trademark registration is voluntary, but it comes with many benefits if authorized. Trademarks identify the origin of commodities and help promote a unique business identity- thus, it exists in a variety of forms.
Type #4: Trade Secret
A trade secret is information kept hidden in an enterprise to maintain a competitive edge. It refers to information not revealed in a patent application or the final awarded patent document. There is certainly no way to go back and protect trade secrets with patents if they become public knowledge.
It’s critical to ensure that only the workers and licensees know of the trade secrets. Therefore, employee confidentiality programs should be in place, and licensees should adhere to rigorous confidentiality agreements.
Importance of Intellectual property
Our national and state economies are greatly impacted by intellectual property (IP). Our economy depends on the effective enforcement of its trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Consequently, consumers rely on IP to ensure that they are buying safe, guaranteed products. IP rights should be protected, domestically as well as internationally. This is why:
Reason #1: Increase market visibility and Value
Through licensing, sales, or commercialization of IP-protected products and services, IP brings in income for your company. As a result, it increases your market share and hence profit. Registering and protecting IP assets can increase the value of your company in case of a sale, merger, or acquisition.
Reason #2: Avoid the risk
Intellectual property rights enable firms to protect their business, research, and development activities while creating a stronger negotiating posture for cross-licensing and counterclaims. Without the protection of ideas, businesses and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions since the stealer would make a killing from the work which he has not even done.
Reason #3: profit-making assets
Ideas by themselves are of little value. IP is a way to transform ideas into profitable products and services. For example, licensing your patents and copyright can result in a steady stream or royalties that can increase your company’s bottom line.
Reason #4: Intellectual property Differentiate your business
IP is crucial in creating a brand image for your company. Trademarks, logos, and the design of your products are all examples. Further, IP can differentiate your products or services on the market and help you promote them to customers.
Reason #5: Finance your business with access to or raising funds
Your IP assets can be sold, licensed, or used as collateral to finance debt. You can also use your IP to gain public funding such as grants, loans, subsidies, or grants.
Reason #6: Increase in Export opportunities
Your competitiveness in export markets can be increased by IP. Brands and designs can be used to export products and services overseas, and you can also seek franchising agreements from foreign companies.
Tips to Protect Your Intellectual Property
IP protection is not just enough to ensure that your innovations won’t be copied or stolen. It establishes an incentive so whatever you create can proliferate and benefit more people without violating your rights. These are five ways you can protect your intellectual property.
Tip #1: Use Digital Rights Management Systems (DRM)
Some users might attempt to copy your work if made publicly online. Digital rights management protects your online assets using coding that does any or all of the following:
- Limit The number of times or window that a user has access to your work
- Restricts who can access your work
- Blocks users editing, saving, and copying your work
- No sharing, printing, or taking screenshots of your work
- Watermarks Your work to establish ownership
So, DRM is a type of encryption that restricts what users can do with protected work. Gated common options for online content are:
- Surveys and data studies
- Market reports
DRM makes it much harder to reproduce or use your online IP without your permission.
Tip #2: Document your discoveries
Leaks are a common problem in the Information Age. You can’t prevent them all, but you can document your innovations and discoveries as they happen. Your records can prove that you are legitimate and have ownership rights over your intellectual property.
Tip #3: Strong confidentiality Agreements
Firstly, you need to protect important information about your business from the public. It is a good idea to ask all the parties who have access to trade secrets or information to sign a confidentiality contract to protect your IP. To strengthen your defenses against IP violations such as trade secret misappropriation and IPR violations, draft an NDA. Employees could share sensitive IP-related data with outsiders.
Lawyers must prepare confidentiality agreements that bind employees and workers to demand that they keep private information confidential. Therefore, failure to comply will be held legally guilty for any leaks. Other names for confidentiality agreements include:
- Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA).
- Confidential disclosure agreement (CDA)
- Proprietary information agreement (PIA).
- Secrecy agreement (SA)
Tip #4: Make sure you have strong access credentials
Protecting a secret requires proactive actions, even if you are the only one who has it. Courts won’t believe that a trade secret is important enough if there aren’t adequate security measures. Secure any confidential information that is relating to intellectual property with strong credentials.
This could be:
- Separate teams to ensure no files are shared between them
- Training Employees on security best practices for your company
- Frequently changing passwords
Leakages can occur as with all security protocols. Therefore, you should consult an expert if your intellectual property has been compromised to discuss your options for Intellectual property enforcement.
Assessment And Valuation Of Your intellectual property
Firstly, protecting an IP asset begins with awareness. As legal professionals, we are limited in our knowledge and understanding of our client’s idea or invention. The reliable IP law firms will not take a risk by assuming they understand it. Only the inventors know their inventions. They can provide detailed info about it.
We carry out an accurate assessment to determine the quality of IP protection. Thereafter, the info gathered safeguards the intellectual property. Above all our experts will invest in in-depth research on other similar intellectual properties. That will provide them with the knowledge to create a suitable mechanism to protect our client’s IP. They will also devise a way to maintain the patent’s portfolio.
After completing the assessment, we will value the IP asset. Above all, ensure the client’s profit maximally from their inventions. That is vital because every intellectual property can build a profitable enterprise. We ensure the valuation process is accurate.
Now over to you
With our assistance, inventors will never get less than what they deserve for the IP asset in every negotiation. We thrive on getting the best deal for innovators. For more information, contact us today.