Intellectual Property (IP) drives a large segment of today’s global economy. Valuable IP rights may exist in products and services we see, hear and use every day. To maximize the value of your property, it is important to take proactive steps to protect your assets. That is why our attorneys listen to you to understand your needs and goals.
Intellectual Property (IP) is a general term for categories of rights in intangible creations of the mind. There are four main categories your intellectual property may fall under. Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP attorneys will work with you to achieve your strategic objectives and protect your intellectual property.
What is a Patent? A patent is an exclusive right granted by the US government to an inventor for limited time to exclude others from:
It protects rights in useful inventions and discoveries like machines and processes.
What is a Copyright? Copyright protects works of authorship fixed in any tangible form or medium of expression. Protection includes expressive works like art, music, dance, literature and also software.
Who is the author of a copyrighted work? The “author” may be one or more persons (in which case the work is jointly owned by its authors).
In the case of “work for hire,” the employer or party that commissions the work is the initial owner of the copyright in that work, unless either of these parties and the creator of the work agree differently in a signed writing.
What works are protected by a copyright? Copyright protects both published and unpublished original works of authorship, including:
What works are not protected by copyright?
What is a Trademark? A trademark protects product, service and company identifiers like brands, logos and package designs. They identify which person or company is the source or origin of goods and services, and distinguishes the trademarked goods and services from those made or sold by others.
Trademarks may take the form of:
Trademarks may also take the form of:
Trademarks consisting of colors or packages, products, store designs or combinations of these features are commonly referred to as “trade dress.”
What is a Trade Secret? A trade secret is business, financial and technical information kept confidential by its owner through reasonable efforts. Trade secrets are economically valuable because the information is not generally known. It protects commercially valuable confidential information like business and financial plans, formulas, recipes and customer information.
For example, Coca-Cola’s soda formula, KFC’s fried chicken recipe and the source code of Adobe’s Photoshop® software are trade secrets.
Trade Secret Protection
Trade secrets are not registered like patents, trademarks and copyrights. Instead, a business could protect its trade secrets by making reasonable efforts to keep this information confidential, for example by:
How long can a trade secret be protected? Trade secret protection lasts until either:
Our Intellectual Property attorneys can help protect your most valuable business assets. IP has the ability to build brand awareness and loyalty among consumers. It establishes protectable legal interests in the goods and services sold by your company and the technology and know-how to produce them. IP also gives you a competitive edge and has intrinsic value that may be sold licensed or leveraged for profit. Intellectual Property drives innovation, enables you to enter new markets, grow market share and create jobs.
Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP can protect your IP in a variety of ways:
Understanding the types of protections and what can be protected is the first step to safeguarding your businesses assets. Always bring suspected infringement of your business’s IP to the attention of your CPM attorney.
Your business can reduce its risk of infringing on other companies’ IP rights by consulting with the Intellectual Property team at Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP.
Here are some of the ways we can help your business:
Never assume that what you see in the marketplace, in the media or on the internet is in the public domain and free to copy, download or use. If you are unsure whether something contains the protected IP of another party, always check with our attorneys before downloading or using it.
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