You know that one of the most valuable assets of your enterprise is its intellectual property. However, you may not be aware of the best strategy to shield access by others who want to profit from your IP.
Review these legal strategies for IP protection that holds up in court.
Obtaining a patent
Patent protection is available if you have invented something unique that would not be obvious to someone else in your industry. If your invention qualifies for patent protection, no one else can import, sell, make or use it for 30 years. However, you must publicly disclose your invention to qualify for patent protection.
Registering a trademark
You can seek federal trademark registration for your business’s identifying mark, phrase, word or logo. While simply publicly using a trademark for your business provides some protection, registration gives you the right to seek legal remedy if someone else uses your trademark.
Applying for a copyright
Federal copyright protection is available for paintings, films, books, songs and other original works of art. As with a trademark, you immediately own a unique work of expression that you create, but you must apply for federal copyright to have the right to sue for copyright infringement.
In addition to these strategies, you can use legal documents such as nondisclosure agreements to prevent trade secrets and other confidential information from becoming public knowledge.
The investment in intellectual property protection helps preserve the value of these intangible assets. For example, you can license a song you wrote to a performing artist in exchange for royalties, which would not be possible if the song becomes public knowledge.