If you’ve got a great idea, logo, business name, or even an invention, you need to protect it. The steps involved in filing for patents, trademarks or copyrights are covered in this section, along with additional resources that can help you safeguard your intellectual properties, such as having employees or vendors sign non-disclosure agreements.
- Understand Intellectual Property and How to Protect your Business – This business guide from STOPfakes.gov is an essential starting point for understanding your intellectual property rights and finding the right protection for your business.
- Applying for a Patent – Learn more about how to apply for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- Registering a Trademark or Service Mark – Find out how to file for trademark or service mark protection for your business name, symbols and logos.
- Copyright your Work – Books, movies, digital works, and musical recordings are all examples of copyrighted works. Refer to this guide from U.S. Copyright Office for more information on what protection copyright affords and the process of copyrighting your work.
What is Intellectual Property and what are the different types?
Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creations of the human minds for which exclusive rights are recognized. Innovators, artists, and business owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets for a specified duration.
- Business owners are granted exclusive rights on the use of their trade marks and geographical indications which were established by them;
- Creative artistes are granted copyrights on musical, literary, dramatic and artistic works for their creations; while
- Innovators are granted protection for their patents, industrial designs, trade secrets, confidential information, and layout-designs of integrated circuits for their innovations.
IP is an intangible asset to a company. It gives business partners and financial institutions the confidence to invest in or collaborate with the organization.
In addition to protecting their creation, business owners can maximize the value of their IPs in many ways. They can franchise, license out or transact their IP.