Intellectual property refers to the creations of the mind. The most common types of intellectual property rights include patents, copyrights, and trademarks. It is important to understand what intellectual property rights are right for your company, otherwise you could spend thousands of dollars without receiving the correct protection.
A patent is granted by a government authority in the form of a license granting a right or title for a period of time. This license grants the licensee the exclusive rights to an invention. This license prevents others from production, marketing or retail of an invention without expressed permission for the licensee.
A copyright is protection granted by federal law. Copyright protection is granted to original works of arts such as literary, musical, software, or architectural material. If you are granted a copyright, it prevents others from publishing, recording, or promoting your material without expressed permission from the originator.
A trademark is an exclusive right to a brand name, symbol or slogan. A registered trademark can distinguish your product or brand from others. Registering a trademark can be very complicated and confusing process. It may be in your best interest to register your mark in multiple classes. You also must prove use of the trademark in relation to your business.
As business grows, it is important to protect your intellectual property by filing for the correct licensing or rights. These forms and processes can be confusing and time consuming. An experienced business attorney would be able to advise and elevate some of the stress regarding choosing the correct way to protect your intellectual property.
If you feel as though your intellectual property has been infringed on, you should contact an intellectual property attorney immediately. An intellectual property attorney can work to not only stop the infringement from continuing, but also may be able to collect monetary damages on your behalf.