Michael E. Melton discusses intellectual property protection in the workplace
Michael E. Melton discusses how to protect your intellectual property. There are four ways that you protect your inventions, artistic works, names and images. There are patents, trademarks, trade secret protection and copyright.
You need to protect your hard-earned creations from being stolen or from unfair competition as this would destroy all of your hard work. If you have a really important business idea then I would recommend contacting an intellectual property attorney who will explain the best course of action to you. If you Intellectual property application isn’t accepted it can become a very costly and timely process refilling in the application and resending and including the fee every time. It can be best to spend the initial outlay with the attorney who can help you complete the application. Then you need to
- Decide which of your ideas fall under which specific protection option
- File the protection as soon as you can to reduce your chance of losing out on protection
There are four main types of IP protection These are
Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright
- Patents allow you to protect an invention which will prevent others from using, marketing or selling that invention. Inventions allow businesses to develop and introduce new processes which can speed up manufacture for example and thus increase the company’s profitability. There are two different types of patent, utility or design. A utility patent covers processes, machinery or article of manufacture and a design one covers a new or original or ornamental design.
- A trademark is a word, phrase or symbol that specifically refers to a particular product from other similar products. You need to ensure that your specific trademark hasn’t been used before or even anything similar you can check this on search of federal and state databases. This will ensure that you reduce costs compared to trying to register something that is already registered. In order to apply you need a clear representation of the trademark and a description of what it will represent.
- Trade secrets or formula processes or procedures that you intend to reveal at a certain time in order to give your company an advantage over competitors. Businesses will use non-disclosure agreements and only those who need to know will know about the trade secret this is in order to keep any leaking of the secret to a minimum. If you do a risk and cost analysis you are able to decide which of your secrets are likely to make you enough money to consider them worthy of protection. Businesses often unveil new ideas and recipes and to protect them can be costly.
- Copyright will protect literary works, music, choreography, sculptures and sound recording to name but a few. This protection allows the author to modify, distribute, perform, create of display their work as they wish. Registered works will make any prosecution case cheaper and easier. The average processing time for copyright is two and a half months.