As the owner of a business, you need to protect your intellectual property from competitors as these ideas and trade secrets are your biggest advantage in the marketplace. Here are 3 types of intellectual property you should be concerned about as a small business owner.
#1: Copyrighted Content
All of the content that your company produces is protected under international copyright law. This includes print and digital content. For example, if you post blogs or video to your website or social media accounts, no one should be using it without your consent. As soon as the work is completed, the copyright goes into effect.
However, you can enhance content further by officially registering a copyright for your materials with the Copyright Office. This is a good idea for major materials such as a company guidebook for employees or an industry book published by your company.
#2: Trademarking Symbols or Words
You can trademark a slogan or logo to ensure that no other brand can have the exact same look or sound as yours. This can prevent another company from capitalizing on your brand’s good reputation to steal away new customers. While trademarks are also automatic, additional protection is offered by registering trademarks officially. However, you first have to make sure that the trademark has not been registered already by searching the government’s trademark database.
#3: Patented Techniques or Inventions
Patents can cover anything from proprietary software developed to help your business run more smoothly to an invention created to be sold by your company. Even techniques such as a manufacturing method that you personally came up with can be patented. A patent can protect your brand from having another company reverse engineer your product or software to get an understanding of how it works so as to create something similar or improve upon it. You must apply for a patent and have the application accepted before this protection takes effect.
While some might consider this a fourth type of intellectual property, a trade secret is very closely related to a patent. The main difference is that trade secrets do not need to be filed in order to be protected and that reverse engineering of a trade secret by another company is acceptable. Also, if someone comes up with the same idea on his own without copying your trade secret, there is no violation of law.
Help in Protecting Your Intellectual Property
At Pokala Law, we take protecting your intellectual property seriously. We’re a small business ourselves, so we understand the important of maintaining any competitive advantage that you can get. Contact us today at 844-695-1487 to get affordable help with your copyrights, trademarks, and patents.