When you create an idea, business, product, or design, you don’t want to go through that hard work to have someone infringe upon it. Your livelihood can be destroyed by intellectual property theft or infringement.
According to Greenberg & Lieberman, LLC, you should get intellectual property protections to safeguard your ideas. This will ensure that you are the only one who can profit from your hard work.
Why Get Intellectual Property Protection?
Our increasingly digitized and globalized world has sped up the production and distribution of fake products. When these get out, they come back with negative reviews of their quality. This impacts your brand because people associate your good name with counterfeit products.
This is why it is important for intellectual creators to secure protection for their ideas and innovations.
How to Keep Your Ideas Safe
There are five things you can do to protect your ideas, designs, and products.
In the U.S., a patent is granted by the government to protect you from other companies trying to duplicate your idea. To get a patent, you must start by filing an application. You’ll do this with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once all of the paperwork is reviewed, usually about two years later, you can prevent others from copying your invention. While you await your patent, you can list your product as “patent pending,” which will indicate the exclusivity of your creation.
Trademarks are symbols that you can see that will help people identify and differentiate a brand or product. These shapes, designs, and even brand taglines can cement a brand’s status in the market. You likely know many of these from the products you use every day. You can recognize them from their symbols without even seeing their names.
Copyrights can stop the duplication of artwork, writing, or computer programs. As soon as it is created, a copyright will exist. It will feature the ‘©’ symbol, the year it was publicized, the name of the owner, and the ownership. Without these things, it can be forfeited.
4. Trade Dress and Unfair Competition Law
You should always be aware of the protective laws to secure your goods and services. Known as ‘trade dress and unfair competition law,’ it means the way the products are dressed, as in the packaging, labels, and colors used. In other words, this law shields you and your creation from unauthorized copying and ornamentation.
5. Trade Secrets
If you own a business, you probably have documents and information that you keep under lock and key. These are confidential and are not disclosed with the advertisement or sale of your products or services. Items that fall into this category include blueprints, customer lists, or recipes.
This secrecy is essential for protection, and with trade secret protection, you can keep these items secure.
With these five ways to protect your ideas, you have an arsenal of indispensable legal tools at your disposal. Depending on your creation, you may not know which of these protections would best apply to your situation.
Working with an experienced intellectual property attorney, you can be sure you have all the right protections needed to stay safe. While you should never talk to anyone about your ideas before you have them protected, a lawyer has an oath to uphold that secrecy.
You can consult with them to find out the best way to protect what you’ve built from the ground up. This way, your rightful property will be safe from the wrong hands.