Steps to protect your intellectual property

Written By Steps To Faculty Published August 13th, 2010

Intellectual property is a business term that refers to the ownership and or collection of ideas and concepts which have commercial value. It is important for a company to safeguard its intellectual property as it determines the firm’s comeptitive edge. There are several methods you can use to protect these valuable but intanglibe assets. Take a look.

Step 1 Patent your work

Patents are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which grants patents for a 20-year term. That is, no one else legally can use, sell, build, or claim your invention. They protect processes, inventions and methods that are “original” and “useful.” The requirements for a patent are: your work must be useful, your work must be novel, and your work must an original creation.

Step 2 Get a trademark

This relates to a brand name; any word(s) or symbol(s) representing a merchandise to recognize and differentiate it from other products in the market. Colors, scents, and sounds can also be trademarked. The ® symbol of registration may only be used when the mark is registered with PTO. If a trademark is more distinctive, the easier it becomes to enforce it. The initial term of federal mark registration is 10 years with a 10-year renewal term. If a company continues to use the trademark to identify its goods or services the rights of the trademark last indefinitely. The moment the mark is no longer in use, registration is terminated.

Step 3 Coyright your great works

Copyright protection protects authors of original works which include literary, musical, and other intellectual works. This gives the holder the exclusive right to copy the work, revise it by creating imitative works, allocate, execute, and exhibit the work publicly. Ideas or concepts do not have copyright protection as they protect the expression of the idea, but not the ideas themselves.

Step 4 Keep your trade secret a secret

Trade secrets refer to unique items such as recipes which offer a company with a viable advantage. A trade secret is not registered with any command office to provide a certifiable public record of any claims to the undisclosed. One can however state to a government grant lawyer in a notarized and signed confession. In this approach the trade secret belongs to you forever-or until somebody leaks it. Trade secret information can be secured by restricting access to the secret and having companies and individuals signing nondisclosure agreements should you enter into a relationship with them which will require them to know the aspects of the secret.

Step 5 Be kind to others to avoid legal troubles

Respecting the work of others. Having protected your own rights does not give you the leeway of stepping on the privileges of others. Don’t duplicate or borrow someone else’s service or specific product.

Remember, protect your image and your intellectual property as soon as you can before the competition can get a hold of your them. Please visit for more great business advice.

Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.