How To Start Strong: What To Do Before You Patent, Copyright, or Trademark Your IP

Apr 21, 2021

Are you a creator who is working to safeguard your intellectual property? The first step toward protecting your intellectual property is figuring out what sort of IP protection applies to your product. Copyright protection refers to original works that are “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” and is frequently used for works like films, songs, books, and art. Trademarks refer to names of goods or services, company names, logos, product lines, slogans, or phrases that identify a product or service. Patents provide exclusive rights for an inventor to manufacture, use, sell, and profit from an invention. Business legal matters can also be affected by your intellectual property. Knowing which of these protections applies to your work is the first step toward filing the correct legal paperwork to protect and defend your property.

Copyright Basics

Generally, creative works are protected with copyrights. Unlike other forms of IP protection, you have the copyright to your creation the moment you create it. That said, it is highly encouraged to register with the Copyright Office to establish a public record of your copyright claim, which will benefit you if you need to take legal action to protect your property. While this may seem like an unnecessary measure, it can help save you from legal trouble in the long term. If you care about your creation then you should definitely obtain a federal copyright. Such a copyright is necessary to sue and also allows the owner to sue for statutory damages. That is, you can recover damages even if the copying of your creation did not actually cause you any economic harm. This is a critical advantage.

Trademark Basics

Trademarks protect things like logos, names, and slogans that you might associate with your product or service. Generally, trademark protection is geared toward ensuring that one business doesn’t mislead the public into thinking they are the same as or associated with another business they are not connected to. The primary goal when it comes to using trademarks is avoiding consumer confusion. Trademarks should be distinctive when used for the associated goods and services and is better if they are not generic or merely descriptive of the goods and services associated therewith.

Patent Basics

Patents are protections for inventions. To obtain a patent the invention must be new and non-obvious. Having the attorneys of Garcia-Zamor conduct patent research can help determine if it is worth preparing and filing a patent application for your invention. There are different types of patents. Utility Patents are a way to protect the structure, process, method, concept, how something works, or main idea of an invention. Design patents protect new, original, ornamental designs.

Get The Assistance You Need

Are you still unsure what sort of intellectual property protection may be right for you? Have you run into a legal roadblock that has left you with questions? Perhaps you need assistance when it comes to defending your intellectual property? Contact Garcia-Zamor today for decades of experience with IP litigation. Our team of attorneys can help you navigate the process of protecting your biggest business investments to help you reach your best outcome. We assist clients of all sizes and strive to provide our clients with the quality assistance they deserve.