Every business has certain things they want to protect. These are often critical components of their company, such as trademarks, inventions and innovations. In other words: Their intellectual property is one of the most valuable things they own.
Understanding a few of the options you have for protecting the company’s intellectual property can help you to ensure it’s done the right way. Typically, you can do this by registering trademarks or patents with the appropriate agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
What does trademark registration do?
A trademark is something that a business is known for. This can be a logo, a tagline or anything else that’s unique and clearly identifies the company. Registering a trademark ensures that other companies can’t capitalize on your business’ success. Once you register the trademark, you can take legal action if you find another company using it to boost its sales.
How do patents protect businesses?
A patent protects a unique design element, a plant, a process, equipment or product. Registration simply gives you rights to the patented item. If you find out someone else is using it without your permission, you’ll have to take legal action. Patents are valid for 15 to 20 years, depending on the type. Some require you to pay maintenance fees to keep the patent valid through that period.
Protecting your company’s intellectual property rights is an ongoing process. Other companies are always looking for an edge, and you need to protect yours. Experienced legal guidance can help you make the most of the laws designed to help.