If you have a great idea and you want to make something with it, chances are at some point you’ll have to take action to protect your intellectual property. This doesn’t only apply to artistic ventures. In fact, in just about every industry, if you’re at the head or have a creative role, you’re likely to have IP you need to protect. Want some examples? Here are some ways that IP law might come into play with different industries:
This is the industry most commonly associated with a need to protect your work. Authors have to copyright their works to protect them against plagiarism. Musicians set contracts and protections that determine who has rights to their music and in what way those rights can be used. Visual artists and performing artists protect their work from being replicated or recorded.
Every part of sharing art is tied to intellectual property protections that lay out how much ownership the artist has over the property and what that entitles them to. In some cases, as with record label contracts or publishing contracts, the artist even sells certain rights to their work to companies that can offer a wider distribution. The right IP law representation can help ensure that they don’t get stuck in an abusive contract.
Planning to open a restaurant soon? There are a number of ways in which you’ll have to protect your IP. For instance, that restaurant will need a name, and to avoid sharing a name with your competition, you’ll need to trademark that business name — as well as your logo. Have an old family recipe or a secret ingredient that makes the food on your menu pop? While the guidelines for patenting a recipe are so narrow that it’s nearly impossible, you can use NDA contracts to ensure your trade secrets don’t get out.
If you want to get the word out about your hotel, you’ll have to do quite a bit of marketing. Attractive pictures of your rooms or the surrounding area on social media can put the spark of longing for vacation in the minds of those who see it. But what happens if a competing hotel steals those images and uses them on their promotional material? As with trademarked logos, you can copyright the imagery that your photographers take for your business so that those images cannot be reused.
Both mechanical devices and new engineering designs have far reaching capabilities. Almost every new innovation that changes our way of life comes back to an engineer who spent months or years creating it. These inventions are, of course, patented before they ever hit the market. In some cases, the patent owner is the engineer who developed the idea while in other cases, the patent belongs to the company they worked for when they created the invention.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is, if your business has a name, a logo, unique products and services, or unique marketing material, you have intellectual property that you need to protect. If it all feels overwhelming, Garcia-Zamor can help. We have over 2 decades of experience dealing with IP law. Contact us today to learn more or to set up an appointment.