Intellectual Property (IP) is the general term used to refer to the legal devices that protect your ideas, creations, and brands. IP not only protects what you create, but also defines it in a legal sense so that you can gain financially from licensing and sales.
Generally, there are four types of IP: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets. Each is used to protect your creation in a different way. However, it is also common for businesses to use all four types to protect different aspects of the same creation.
Below is a brief overview of each type of IP and some of the services we provide.
A patent protects a new idea for a device, a way of doing something, or a technical solution to a problem. A patent is an exclusive right allowing only you to use, sell, or license the invention and it generally lasts about 20 years.
A trademark represents your brand. It is the distinctive sign, words, or logo that specifically identifies your products or services. A trademark will generally last as long as you are using it, provided it remains distinctive and associated only with your products or services.
Copyrights protect your creative expressions. Copyrights protect books, music, films, video games, computer software, paintings, drawings, photographs, and website designs, among many other things. A copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.
Sometimes known as “confidential or proprietary information,” trade secrets protect information that is not generally known and that you want to keep secret for business purposes. Trade secrets include customer lists, formulas, procedures, marketing plans, pricing strategies, etc. A trade secret lasts so long as it is kept secret and steps are taken to safeguard it.