For a small business owner, intellectual property can be very important to maintaining a competitive edge. However, it can be difficult to control your IP if you are unsure about how it works. Here are a few misconceptions that people have about intellectual property so that you are not fooled.
- Misconception 1: Patents Are Valid Globally – Patents need to be filed in every country where your business functions or your products are sold. For most small businesses in California, that just means getting a patent in the US. But you can’t complain if a company in Europe uses a similar design.
- Misconception 2: When a Contractor or Employee Makes Something, I Own It – You need to include this in your employment or freelancer contracts if you want to own what someone creates for you. Be sure to discuss this with employees or contractors ahead of time so that there are no surprises.
- Misconception 3: I Can Borrow Anything That Doesn’t Have a Copyright Symbol – The copyrights symbol is a good reminder that a written or visual work is protected, but the lack of this symbol doesn’t make something free game. Once something is posted online, it is considered published, so don’t use it for your business without permission.
California Small Businesses and Intellectual Property Law
Pokala Law APC is here to help small business owners in Southern California to navigate intellectual property law. To learn more, give us a call today at 844.965.1487, or you can request an appointment on our website.