If you’re thinking to start a new business or currently own one, then it is crucial to familiarize yourself with what’s known as intellectual property. This is basically a phrase that’s used to describe some legal rights in which people have a hold over creations of the mind like writing, works of art, designs, music, ideas, choreography or inventions. In reality, there are 4 different kinds of intellectual property and these compose of copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trademarks.
Number 1. Copyright – this is a type of intellectual property that protects original authors of both unpublished and published creations. As for the rights of these works, it remains only to the passion of the creator for a certain period of time under copyright law. As soon as the time period elapsed, then these works will be open to others for republication and reproduction.
Number 2. Patents – in reality, these are legal property rights being applied to the inventions than the works of any type of literacy or art and they should be distributed by the US Patent and Trademark Office. In most instances, the patents can be applied to items such as processes, manufacturing designs, machines, compositions of matter or biological discoveries. Similar to copyrights, patents are also available to inventors for a set period of time before it expires. In general, patents could potentially last for up to 20 years after the date to which the application for patent is filed.
Number 3. Trade Secrets – these are basically designs, practices, processes, recipes, formulas or even ideas used by a company that enables it to gain leverage in the industry. Trade secrets most of the time are hidden by a person’s own means when compared to being protected through government policies like copyrights or patents. An example for self protection used commonly with trade secrets is by locking pertinent info away in a bank vault. Because trade secrets are lacking of legal protection, the moment they got leaked to the public, anyone can use them.
Number 4. Trademarks – normally, these include phrases, words, symbols, designs or even devices used in line with a certain good or brand to be able to distinguish it from other merchandise of that industry. Trademarks are used for identification purposes and protected legally by the time they have been registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Whether you believe it or not, many people are not aware of the value as well as the presence of these assets because it compose of expertise, knowledge, now-how that only high qualified employees have. Basically, having such gives a company the edge over its competition.
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