Intellectual Property Protection for New Product Inventions
Which type of intellectual property protection is suitable for your invention?
New Product Inventions Require the Right Type of ProtectionWithout the right intellectual property protections, your new product ideas and inventions are just as likely to benefit another business as your own. This is because copyrights, patents, trademarks, and other similar intellectual property protections afford you and the individuals or entities you choose with certain rights to use and reproduce the invention. Intellectual property law is exceedingly complex; therefore, obtaining the proper protection for your invention or creation is best accomplished with the experienced guidance of an intellectual property lawyer.
Different Types of Intellectual Property ProtectionObtaining intellectual property protection for your invention or creation is not sufficient if the protection obtained is the wrong type of protection given the nature of your invention. In fact, having the wrong protection in place is like having no protection at all. Consider the benefits and applicability of the following:
oCopyrights are used to protect creative ideas and expressions that are reduced to a physical or tangible medium. A new software company that creates a program and expresses that program in a written code can seek and obtain copyright protection for this written code (the idea of the program, however, cannot be copyrighted).
oTrademarks protect any symbol, graphic, slogan, design, or other image that a business uses to distinguish itself and its products or services from the products or services of another company. The "Coca-Cola" logo is an example of a trademark, as is Apple, Inc.'s image of an apple with a "bite" out of the right side.
oPatents protect new or improved processes, machines, chemical compositions or product design. A patent gives the patent owner the exclusive right to develop, use, and sell the protected invention or creation, usually for a period of 20 years.
What Happens if You Obtain the Wrong Intellectual Property Protection?Failing to obtain the right form(s) of intellectual property protection - or failing to obtain any protection at all - leaves your creations and inventions open to infringement and copying. For example, failing to obtain a patent for your new idea or invention means that a competitor can take your idea or design and develop it, improve upon it, and/or sell it. In certain extreme circumstances, your competitor may be able to obtain a patent for your idea - and then move to stop you from further developing or marketing your idea.
This article was originally published on JGPC.com.