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Intellectual Property Laws & Protection

Intellectual property law helps individuals and businesses protect their inventions and creations so they can profit from them. Scroll to learn more about intellectual property and how you can get affordable legal advice for your business.

Intellectual Property Overview

If you want to profit from your original work and inventions, filing for intellectual property protection is critical, and working with an experienced lawyer to make sure your applications are correct is critical. Also, if a business owns the valuable intellectual property, it can increase the value of the business itself. Deciding on the right type of intellectual property protection is also important. Learn about the three primary types of IP to the right.

A trademark protects brand names, taglines and logos used on goods. Logos are considered Design Marks while plain text names and taglines are considered Word Marks. You may need both types of trademark. Service Marks are used to protect the names of intangible assets like ideas and songs.

For example, if you own a restaurant or other food business and you want to make sure nobody else in your area uses the same name and logo as you, a trademark would protect you.

Learn more here about getting legal assistance for trademark law.

A copyright protects authors, artists and creators. Copyrights cover creative works such as songs, novels, movies, computer software, poetry and architecture.

If you own a construction company and develop original building designs or you’re a real estate broker and you write a book about your sales processes, you need to register for a copyright to protect your valuable creations.

Learn more here about getting legal assistance for copyright law.

A patent is a form of intellectual property that protects inventions. The two most common types of patents are Utility Patents and Design Patents.

If you develop a new kind of machine or your software company develops new software, you may need a patent. Note that software can be both copyrighted (for the code) and patented (for the invention). Deciding on one vs the other has significant consequences. Sometimes you may need both.

What Does an Intellectual Property Lawyer Do?

Intellectual property lawyers operate in three main capacities.

Strategy

The first step in securing the proper intellectual property protection is to identify all the types of protection you may need.

  • It may be obvious that you just need a trademark for your business name
  • Other situations such as software development can be protected with both a patent and copyright, and there may be a need for a trademark as well
  • Lawyers that specialize in this area of law help their clients develop the right intellectual property strategy

Registration

Once you know what sort of protection you need, lawyers can conduct searches for existing trademarks, copyrights or patents that might prevent you from registering your creation.

  • If the search is clean, your lawyer can prepare and file all of the necessary paperwork
  • During the approval process, lawyers will communicate with the government, answer their questions and provide supplemental information as needed
  • Intellectual property registration can be very complex, especially when it comes to patents. By working with an experienced lawyer, you’ll rest easy knowing your protection will be enforceable

 

Negotiation and Litigation

Intellectual property lawyers can help pursue people that violate intellectual property rights or defend their clients if they've been accused of violating someone else's.

  • Lawyers may engage in negotiations to get a violator to stop or to allow their client to make business changes and avoid trial
  • If necessary, the lawyer will go to court to defend you if you’re accused of a violation
  • Your lawyer can also seek an injunction and damages against businesses that violate your intellectual property rights
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