For any business or individual who is looking to find fame and success, intellectual property rights are going to be very important to understand. These rights have been put in place by lawmakers in order to both protect people who have created something, and to help businesses to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to using something that someone else has created. There are many grey areas within this aspect of the law which is why it is so essential that you understand the key areas of intellectual property law. You may think that using an image, an idea, a strategy or indeed a personality within your business is no problem, but if that has been created by someone else you may find yourself in hot water. To understand this further we teamed up with the guys at MEM Concessions LLC, professionals in the world if intellectual property, in order to lay out the key points that you need to know.
If you do happen to fall foul of intellectual property law, you will usually be given the chance to remove whatever it is that you are using before action is taken. Failure to do this could result in fines, damaged reputation and in extreme cases, the closure of your business.
Types of Intellectual Property Laws.
Intellectual property falls into many different categories and these are some of the key acts which you should be aware of.
Unfair Competition – The Unfair Competition Act was introduced to prevent businesses from gaining an unfair advantage on their rivals through the use of trade defamation, false advertising, infringement of copyrights or the misappropriation of names or a likeness.
Trade Secrets – This protects strategies, formulas, devices or procedures which a company has in place, from being stolen and used by another business. The onus is of course on the business to protect their own information.
Patent – Someone who has invested something unique can apply to have a patent awarded which will mean that they are the sole creator of the product and that they will be able to have a say on who uses or recreates their product. This can sometimes be a new product that is patented or in many cases it can be a small mechanism which is used within a product, both can be patented.
Trademark – Generally identified as a sign or symbol which relates to the company using it. Once a company has registered a trademark, no other company will be able to use the same logo or symbol.
Copyright – This refers to any creation of the mind, usually relating to art, such as poems, songs, music, literature, or design. Once a piece has been copyrighted it cannot be used by anyone else unless the owner of the copyright is consulted first and gives their blessing.
It is important that you understand what you can and can’t do as a business in relation to intellectual property rights.
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